Sweetened rice wine
Picture this. You went out for Chinese food, and they gave you a huge bucket of rice with your dinner. Being on a low carb kick, you didn’t eat most of it, and they offer to put it in a to-go box for you. What do you do? Well now with the Bachelor’s Cookbook, you finally have a use for it.
Making fried rice is as simple as throwing some frozen shrimp in a pan, frying them up to melt them, adding the rice and soy sauce and frying it further until it gets some crisp to it. Boom. Done. You don’t even need to buy soy sauce for your bachelor pad because chances are the Chinese restaurant also threw in a couple packets in with your to-go box.
Also, rice keeps surprisingly long in the fridge. Yeah it gets a bit stiff and I wouldn’t eat it directly out of the box if it’s been sitting in there too long. But frying it up in a pan will bring the freshness right back. A bit of mold? No sweat, just scrape it off and fry the rest into sterile oblivion.
If you wanna get fancy with the fried rice, you can chop up a quarter onion and fry that up first. Then add the shrimp to melt it. This is where you would also add an egg by dropping it off to the side and scrambling it. Let it cook all the way before you add the rice. Frozen veggies can add some roughage to the mix and is another nice thing to keep in your freezer. But those you want to add after the rice.
Sweetened rice wine can give your fried rice a milder, sweeter complexion without making it taste like candy. It’s readily available at Japanese supermarkets and keeps forever. Add that along with the soy sauce to taste.
I’ve gotten out of many a night with no dinner in sight by frying up this concoction and getting those stupid rice leftovers cleaned out of my fridge.
Milk or dark chocolate
Strawberries or fruit of your choice
Good luck trying this with cheese. But we used to do this trick at work on Farmer’s Market days. Get a bar or two of your favorite type (there’s a Godiva store by my work so we got that) and chop it up into small cubes. Then get your dipping foods – I like strawberries because you can hold them by the leaves, plus they taste great dipped in chocolate.
Now the fun part. Get the small bowl and put it in the large bowl, then pour hot water in the large bowl to about an inch or so up the small bowl. The more water the better, really, just make sure it doesn’t spill into the small bowl or make it float. Throw it all in the microwave for another minute or so until that small bowl is nice and hot.
Now, add the chocolate into the small bowl and coax it into melting with a spoon or fork. You can throw it back into the microwave again to help it melt more, but make sure not to burn the chocolate – max of 30 seconds at a time.
Once the chocolate is melted, let the party commence! Everyone sits around the bowl dipping strawberries in it. You can always throw more chocolate cubes in there, once the chocolate is in there it’s easier to melt more.
1 can vegetarian baked beans
2 Hot dogs – Hebrew National preferred
This is for the heartier appetites out there. The only shortcoming here is the hot dogs can go bad after a few weeks in the fridge. You can throw them in the freezer but then they’re much harder to chop unless you defrost them first. But who has time for that.
First step it to chop up the hot dogs into slices – the thinner you cut them, the more flavor and oil they’ll release. Throw them in a heated 1-quart pot (or saucepan for those who know the terminology) and let them brown. No need for extra oil, they’ll release enough to grease themselves just fine. Hebrew National is the best at this.
Once they’re done (I like them nice and toasted), add in the can of beans. Stir it up, reduce heat, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. You probably should stir on occasion to keep things even.
This follows trend I like to call deveganizing – or making vegan dishes so much more delicious with a good dose of meat.
Okay, this will probably be the least bachelor friendly recipe I’ll post, since you’ll likely want to stock up on all sorts of perishables if you want a nice omelette. But the fact is, once you get the hang of it, an omelette is very easy to prepare. And the ingredients are ridiculously cheap – a dozen eggs goes for $2, as opposed to $10 omelettes at your typical bistro. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get rid of produce that’s about to go bad.
And all bachelors should be well-versed with a frying pan or skillet of sorts: I use my 7″ non-stick pan more than all my other cookware combined. And it even makes a nice substitute for a microwave.
That being said, here’s your basic tips to making a good omelette, that I’ve learned over the years working in food service and observing various chefs.
The eggs: beat them in a cup, and add some milk if you have any. This will give them a fluffier texture. Two jumbo eggs work perfectly for me.
The skillet: heat it up with a half to one tablespoon of your favorite grease. I like coconut oil myself. Once it’s nice and hot you’re ready to throw in your toppings.
Vegetable toppings: I’ve become a believer in diced onions as the basis for any good omelette. Don’t worry, you don’t need much, and supermarkets carry a wide array of pre-chopped onions. Trader Joe’s has a great onion/garlic/shallots package that works perfectly. Throw these in your greased heated skillet first, as you want them slightly caramelized to release their flavor into the omelette.
I also like mushrooms, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. You can get spinach and mushrooms ready packed, the cherry tomatoes you just need to dice in half. Throw these in the skillet.
This is a good time to throw in any meat toppings you have. I recommend having that stuff pre-cooked. Thaw and chop frozen items or cold cuts.
I usually put spinach in mine, so once it’s wilted I’m ready to throw in my beaten eggs. Pour them evenly over everything.
Now here comes part that takes some finesse. It’s all in the wrist. You want to keep flipping the omelette even as the eggs are mostly raw, with just a thin layer cooked on the bottom. With a good non-stick surface everything should slide nicely in the pan. You can swish the pan around before flipping to make sure you don’t have any sticking points. Use chopsticks or something similar to keep egg from sticking to the side.
The trick is to keep all your toppings encased nicely in the egg, so the egg makes a little oven for everything to finish cooking in and release their flavor. With this flipping technique you’ll have it going nicely.
I don’t usually add cheese, but if you do, a good time to add it is soon after you pour the egg. You want to always have some egg between the cheese and the pan.
If you’re flipping well, you’ll soon get a nice circular omelette, total cooking time is just a couple minutes. Slide it out into a plate, and for a special dash fold it over itself in the middle.
And worst comes to worst, you’ll still have a nice scramble.
Frozen Cooked Shrimp
Dry Ramen Noodles
Yeah you heard me. Well, it’s more like shrimp ramen, except the catch is there’s some good dry ramen-style noodles out there. Head to your local Thai Town and stock up on as many of those as you can get. My favorite flavors are Pad Thai and Tom Yum, but you should go all out exploring flavors that work for you. Then head to the supermarket and stock up on some frozen cooked shrimp. They’re cheap, they’re frozen so you can keep them forever.
That’s it, you have your two ingredients. Prepare the the noodles according to the directions, except when you add the boiling water, also add the frozen shrimp. Then throw it in the microwave for a minute or two so the water stays hot as the shrimp thaw and heat up. Also keep in mind, the Pad Thai style noodles want you to drain them before you add the flavor packets.
That’s it! You have a meal fit for a king. Or maybe a date. With your very understanding girlfriend.