Tag Archives: Downton Abbey

New Year, New “Meat”: Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice

When it comes to food, I’m pretty much game for anything.

Except bananas. NEVER bananas.

But, I’d like to think I’d try most anything once.

I don’t want to eat bugs, but if I was visiting a culture where people eat bugs, I might eat a bug. But like, I wouldn’t eat a bug on Fear Factor (is that still on?) or just at my house or whatever. I’m not going to sit at home and watch Downton and eat a bowl of crickets.

via memegenerator.net (obviously)

via memegenerator.net (obviously)

So, to recap: I’d probably try almost anything, maybe a bug, but never bananas.

I saw this recipe for Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice on Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has been doing this fun series where they have a chef come to their office and make breakfast. The latest chef contributor was Dale Talde.

For those who don’t know, Dale Talde is a Top Chef alum who was on my favorite two seasons (season 5 Chicago and season 8 All-Stars). He was a punk (season 5), but he really has a heart of gold (season 8).

I feel like we could be friends.  via Buzzfeed

I feel like we could be friends.
via Buzzfeed

 

Season 5 Dale…about to murk Antonia. via imdb.com

 

Dale always made really inventive food and was a pretty funny dude with a great laugh, second only to Tre Wilcox (season 3/season 8.) He also has a bunch of really killer restaurants in NYC. I’ve been to Pork Slope in Brooklyn and it was legit, especially since it combines my two favorite things: pork and puns.

Pork and Puns will be the name of my cookbook/comedy memoir, by the way.

So, when I saw this Spam and Kimchi fried rice recipe, I was excited. When two of my friends sent me the recipe, I knew I had to make it. It was time to try Spam.

I honestly did not know what to expect. But I thought, “if Dale Talde can eat Spam, I can eat some Spam too.”

If you’ve never opened Spam before, it will bring back some memories of opening cat food for the neighbors cats while they’re on vacation. (The cats weren’t on vacation…the people were….was that clear?) It has a golden pop top situation and there’s some gelatinous meat juice around the Spam, which add to the cat food-ness. It’s fairly disgusting to behold. And touch. It absolutely does not feel like real meat.

But this dish? This dish is awesome. Honestly. It’s just awesome. There are a lot of steps, but it’s not hard. Get your mise en place in place. (Nailed it.) Then go to town. The Spam is essential and it’s great. I really and truly stand corrected. It brings a salty, porky, meat-like punch to the dish.

Don’t skip the kimchi. It adds some spicy funk to the party, which every party needs. Also, it’s a probiotic according to the jar! Think about that! But not too much cause ew!

So, do yourself a favor. Try something new today. Buy yourself a can of Spam and make yourself some Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice. It’s what Dale Talde would do.

God Bless Spam and God Bless the USA.

Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice by Dale Talde from Buzzfeed

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fried rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12-ounce container Spam, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Kimchi, strained, thinly sliced, liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon Korean chili flakes (red pepper flake can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)

For the fried eggs:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the rice: First, rinse the rice by pouring it into a medium pot or bowl, covering it with cold water, then draining it in a fine mesh strainer, shaking the rice to get as much water off as possible. Then, in a medium sauce pot, combine the 2 cups of rice with 2 cups of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat all the way down to low, cover, and let the rice cook, covered, for 23 minutes. Then, turn the heat off but DO NOT UNCOVER THE RICE. Let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, uncover it, fluff it with a fork, and set it aside in the pot while you prepare the other fried rice ingredients.

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. While the oil heats, crack the 2 eggs into a medium bowl and beat them together with a fork until the yolk and white are thoroughly combined. Add the beaten egg to the hot skillet all at once, then use a spoon or spatula to constantly move the egg around the skillet, When the egg is fully cooked but not browned, about 30 seconds, slide it out of the skillet and onto a plate, and set it aside.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, then add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil and the cubed spam. Cook the spam, stirring occasionally, until it’s golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic, stir everything together, and continue to cook over medium high heat just until the onion has started to soften, about 2 minutes more. Make sure to stir often, so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the chili flakes, sesame oil, kimchi, and butter, then stir everything together and cook for about a minute, just to heat the kimchi. By now, the mixture may have started to stick to the skillet. Add the reserved kimchi liquid (about 1/3 cup) and stir to deglaze the skillet (the liquid will release all the stuff that’s stuck to the bottom).

Add the cooked rice, stir, then add the cooked egg, sliced scallions, and fish sauce(optional). Stir thoroughly so that the egg is in bite-sized pieces and everything is evenly distributed throughout the rice. Turn the heat to low to keep the rice warm while you fry the eggs, stirring every minute or so to keep the rice from sticking.

To make the eggs, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. (If you don’t have a large nonstick skillet, use a small nonstick skillet and work in two batches.) When the butter is melted, crack the eggs into the skillet. Try to keep them separate but if the whites touch, that’s OK.

Season with salt and pepper, then let the eggs cook over medium-low heat until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 3-4 minutes.

Divide the fried rice evenly among four plates or bowls, then top each portion with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

 

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My One Year Blog-Aversary…was 3 days ago

There are a lot of things I’m good at. And there are a lot of things I’m not so good at. One of them is dates.

Not like GOING on dates. Though I can’t say I’m great at that or anything. 

There is a 50% chance I will forget your birthday. Even if it’s listed on Facebook, I will probably miss it. Even my best friends in the world, I balls it up. When my BFF Stowe turned 25, I wished him a happy 23rd birthday. He has never let me live this down. Nor should he! I’m a certified non-genius in this area. It’s not intentional. I’m just bad at this. 

Which is how I managed to miss my one year blog-aversary.

IT’S A WORD.

(…it’s not a word…)

I published my first blog post on 10/6/12. It’s been one year. I have 45 posts. Some food successes, and some food failures. A lot of (bad) jokes. A lot of self deprecation. And far too many Downton Abbey themed animated gifs.

 What have I learned this year whilst living and blogging? 

Sometimes, my blog posts get written on my list of things to do. “Write meatloaf post.” And then, it feels like a burden. Because it’s another thing to get done and crossed off. But it’s not. It’s filling a space that’s been empty since I stopped doing theatre. (Ok, it’s not COMPLETELY filling it. Unless I was singing show tunes while I was cooking. Which I could totally do…) 

But it’s kind of an awesome feeling when someone says they laughed at something in my post. I love making people laugh. And I love to cook. It’s the best of both worlds, really. 

So. A New Year’s Resolution for a new year of bloggery: blog more. 

I’m not going to commit to anything crazy, because my job is still my job (touch wood) and that’s still busy. But I’d like to write at least once a week. So when I get to my second blog-aversary, I have a whole 97 posts. But I’d like to do it even more than that.

…Heh. She said ‘do it.’

You guys are great. Thanks for reading. Go cook and eat things. 

And above all, stay fake. 

Nothing fake here.

Nothing fake here.

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Summer Salad for the Almost End of Summer: Almost No Cook Black Bean Salad

Y’all. It’s August.

August. 

…I hate to say this to you guys…but summer is almost over. 

Lady Mary Shushes You

Lady Mary Shushes You

Ok, I get it, Lady Mary. You are cold and hard but you are also capable of love but most of all you DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT SUMMER ENDING.  

So, let’s talk about things I need to do before summer ends:

  • Go to the pool at least once
  • Use my grill at least once
  • See one of the outdoor movies at the Reynolda House
  • Eat all the tomatoes before they leave me and I’m as sad as Lady Edith when she’s been jilted by Sir Anthony Stralan
  • "I'm so sad about being jilted. And also the tomatoes."

    “I’m so sad about being jilted. And also the tomatoes.”

  • And make this black bean salad again

Let me tell you what. This is an almost no cook salad. And it’s full of fresh veggies and packed with citrus-y zing (yes, I did type that).

I don’t mean to brag here. But I took this to a potluck and someone else had brought a black bean salad too. My friend who threw the potluck said that my salad was full of much more flavor than the other salad. 

In a black bean salad walk off, this salad will always win, Billy Zane. 

Almost No-Cook Black Bean Salad, adapted from PopSugar Food 

Ingredients

  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 small orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, small diced
  • 1 jalapeño, stem, ribs, and seeds removed, small diced
  • 1 fresh corn, grilled, shucked and cut off cob | I grilled the corn because a friend of mine told me that raw corn is rough on your digestive system. (YIKES) Grilling it kept the integrity of the kernels by not making them mushy.
  • 1-2 watermelon radishes, peeled and small diced | I used boring regular radishes.
  • 1/2 red onion, small diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt, to taste 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, tossing to coat well. Season with salt to taste. It’s that easy. 

Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad

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