Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Bay Scallop (or shrimp, or chicken, or…) Fried Rice February 12, 2011

Filed under: dinner,lunch,seafood — freerangenurse @ 9:13 am

Bay Scallop Fried Rice
I have been eyeing this recipe for fried rice for quite awhile.  I’ve made fried rice before, but it never seemed to come out right.  It always ended up kind of mushy and clumpy and not what I hoped for.  Then I came across a recipe on Steamy Kitchen that also included some helpful hints in making fried rice.  One of the tips was to make the rice a day or two in advance and let it dry out a bit in the fridge.  Then, the problem was I never remembering to make rice a day before I actually wanted to eat it.  Finally, the other day, while I was making fish tacos, I remembered to go ahead and make some rice, too.  Once it cooled, I put it in the fridge to use today.  The results were so much better than my previous tries.  I did make a few changes to the recipe and ran it through the weight watchers points calculator for you.  I calculated the points by dividing the total recipe by 4 servings, but it could easily feed 5 people, depending on how much you eat.

Total weight watchers points for 1/4 recipe is 11.  This is based on scallops.  Naturally, this will vary based on what you use for the protein.

Bay Scallop Fried Rice

adapted from Jaden Hair’s recipe at Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 ounces bay scallops, white muscle removed
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, divided (I use grapeseed, because it has a higher smoke point than canola)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups white rice, grains well separated
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

In a medium bowl, toss the scallops, salt and cornstarch, let it sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature.  Heat a large wok over high heat.  Once the pan is hot enough for a bead of water to instantly sizzle and evaporate, add 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the scallops, quickly spreading them out around the pan so that they are not overlapping.  Let the scallops sear undisturbed for 30 seconds, then flip them to cook on the other side for another 30 seconds, or so.  Remove the scallops onto a plate and set aside, leaving as much of the oil as possible.  I use a large, round, flat, slotted spoon for this.  Don’t worry if they aren’t cooked all the way through, you’ll finish them up at the end.

Turn the heat down to medium and let the pan heat up again.  Pour in the eggs and stir to scramble.  When the eggs are almost cooked through (they should still be slightly runny in the middle), remove them from the pan onto the same plate as the scallops.

Clean out the wok with a paper towel (I had to wash it as bits of egg were stuck to the bottom) and heat up again over high heat with 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil, swirling it around the pan.  Sauté the sugar snap peas for about a minute until crisp and bright green, remove to plate.  Add remaining oil and let the wok heat up again, then add the rice, quickly spreading the grains around the wok’s surface, then leave them there, undisturbed until you hear the grains sizzle, about 1-2 minutes.  Use the spatula to toss the rice, again spreading the rice out over the surface of the wok.

Drizzle the soy sauce all around the rice and toss.  Add the red pepper and carrots and toss.  Let the rice sizzle again, then add the scallops, egg and peas back to the pan along with the sesame oil.  Toss to mix the rice with the other ingredients, then let everything sit and get hot again.  The rice grains should get so hot, they practically dance!  Taste and add additional soy sauce, if needed.  Enjoy!!

Note:  Additional tips for fried rice success from Steamy Kitchen

  1. Use previously chilled leftover rice
  2. High heat is essential in cooking fried rice
  3. Fry ingredients separately, or they will all taste the same
  4. In order to properly fry rice, you have to leave it alone and allow it to get hot enough.  Otherwise, the grains break and release more starch, resulting in clumpy, sticky rice.
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Moroccan Carrot Soup February 1, 2011

Filed under: lunch,soup — freerangenurse @ 4:38 pm

Moroccan Carrot Soup

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain and wind pounding my house.  The cold front that was promised has definitely moved in!  The temperature had dropped from a very spring-like 78 yesterday to a wintery (for central Texas) 35 and falling.  Tonight we are supposed to be in the teens!  I had a feeling this pseudo spring was going to be short lived.  I don’t know about you, but when Jack Frost is nipping at my nose, all I want is a warm bowl of comfort called soup.  In a happy little bit of serendipity, I came across this recipe for carrot soup and decided to try it.  I ran the recipe through the old points program and it is VERY points friendly!  You can eat half the recipe for a mere 7 points!!!  That would be about 2 cups of soup.  Best of all, it has such a wonderful sweet, smokey, subtly spicy flavor.  I’m wishing I had made a double batch!  The addition of a little plain non-fat yogurt really ups the richness factor, too and it is included in the points value!  I hope you’ll like it as much as I do!

Moroccan Carrot Soup

adapted from Epicurious
Moroccan Carrot Soup
Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used veggie)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt, stirred to loosen (you could also use greek yogurt for a little extra punch)
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste (you could use black, but I used white, so it wouldn’t show)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until browned.  Add onion; sauté 2 minutes.  Stir in carrots and sauté another minute or two.  Add broth; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.

In a small skillet, heat cumin seeds over medium-high heat until fragrant and toasted, about 4 minutes; cool.  Finely grind in a spice mill or a molcajete (see photo).

Remove the soup from heat and using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.  You could also use a blender or a Ninja (I love my Ninja).  Whisk in honey, lemon juice, and allspice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into soup bowl and spoon a dollop of yogurt over (about 1/8 cup per cup of soup).  Sprinkle generously with cumin.  Feel warm and fuzzy inside!!
Moroccan Carrot Soup