Sometimes there is nothing better than ordering take-out, having it delivered and curling up on the couch after a long day or a rough week. But that may require digging into your pocket a bit more than you’d like. There are ways, however, to make your own version of take-out food that doesn’t require as much work as you might think.
Chicken fried rice is a classic Chinese take-out dish; but it’s also quick and simple to make at home. The time-consuming piece of making this dish is cooking the rice. In reality though, that only requires you to boil water and dump a cup of rice into the pot. Making it at home is also much more affordable than ordering out. I would estimate that this dish costs about $5 for four servings, that’s about $1.25 a serving.
One thing that I’ve noticed since moving to Dover is that there are a lot of sandwich shops and delis. Most of them are very good, so I’m tempted to splurge and eat lunch out during the week. Luckily my boyfriend, Levi, has come up with his own recipe for a gourmet style sandwich that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or work. It’s the perfect combination of roasted pork, spicy chipotle spread, sweet peppers and onions. This recipe calls for one package of pork tenderloins, but one package always contains two tenderloins. The tenderloins need to be cooked in a skillet that can be placed in the oven (my choice would be cast iron). Fordham Brewing Company’s Wisteria Wheat beer is Levi’s personal favorite brew to use while cooking the pork. The recipe also calls for chipotle sandwich spread. Hidden Valley makes a really tasty spread called Spicy Chipotle Pepper Sandwich Spread (you can find it in the aisle with the mayonnaise). McCormick also makes a really good one that can be found in the Hispanic food section.
Mexican-style food is always a popular option for take-out, and my burritos are a good way to satisfy that craving. They're easy and can satisfy even picky eaters because they're customizable. The fact that you use the slow cooker to make the chicken to go with the burrito bowls means that it can be arranged so that all you have to do is cook a batch of rice, sauté some vegetables, and dinner will be ready when you come home from work.
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Chicken Fried Rice
1 cup rice
1 pound package chicken tenderloins
Page 2 of 3 - Half medium onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1/4 cup soy sauce
Prepare the rice according to the directions on the package. While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into small cubes and sauté in a skillet until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and put a tablespoon of butter in the same pan the chicken was cooked in. When the butter is melted, cook the onions until translucent. Crack the eggs into the pan and scramble. Add the frozen peas and carrots to the pan and sauté until thawed. Toss the rice and chicken into the pan and stir everything together. Cook just a minute or two longer until the vegetables are warm. Top with the soy sauce and stir. Serves four.
Levi’s Chipotle Pork Sandwiches
1 package pork tenderloins (two tenderloins per package)
1 bottle beer
2 onions, cut in half, sliced thin
1 jar chipotle sandwich spread
7 oz. jar sliced, roasted red peppers
8 slices Swiss cheese
2 loaves French bread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet over high heat and allow it to get very hot. Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides for two minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat and pour half the beer in and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tenderloins read 160 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, sauté the onions in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until golden and soft. Turn the broiler on in your oven. Cut the loaves of bread in half and then split them open. Spread each side of one of the halves with chipotle spread, add three or for thick slices of pork, a quarter of the pepper slices, a quarter of the onions and two slices of Swiss cheese. Repeat the process with the rest of the bread. Place the sandwiches on a cookie sheet and place them under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 4.
Chipotle chicken burrito bowls
1 pound package chicken tenderloins
11 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup rice
1 bell pepper, diced
15 oz. can corn
15 oz. can black beans
2 cloves garlic
1 head lettuce, shredded
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Page 3 of 3 - Sour cream
Place the chicken in a slow cooker and top with all of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers and half of the peppers. Add in the brown sugar and the stock. Cook on low for four hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, shred it and return it to the liquid in the slow cooker. Cook the rice according the instructions on the package. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the peppers, corn, beans and garlic until peppers are tender. Fill a bowl with rice, and add the cooked chicken, vegetables and the sauce the chicken was cooking in. Top with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa to taste. Serves four.