Thursday, March 23, 2006

Signs of the season

Late this afternoon, I planted the first new things in this year's container garden. I planted some lettuce, some spinach and some mitsuba. We have a bit of a warming trend forecast for the next few days, so I decided to go for it. I would've planted the lettuce sooner, but the nights have been quite cold for the last week or so. As I rearranged dirt in the pots on my deck, I heard the Wood Frogs sounding off in the creek, another sure sign of spring. Wood Frogs, along with Spring Peepers, are the first frogs that start calling in the spring hereabouts.

Yesterday I made Thai fried rice with chicken thighs. I've been using Nancie McDermott's recipe from Quick and Easy Thai, which really is quick and easy. I love the clean taste of the fried rice; there are few ingredients apart from chopped onion and garlic, meat, fish sauce, beaten egg, sugar and jasmine rice (of course). Last night I didn't even use the chopped scallions. As the meat stir-fries in the pan, it leaves some fond (the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan), but the rice sops it up so that it adds more flavor to the finished dish. The chicken thighs were by far the most assertive part of the dish, almost in an unbalanced way, but when I had the leftovers for brunch this morning, it all tasted good. Thai fried rice really is an excellent way of dressing up leftovers without a lot of effort, and winding up with a tasty meal. It's also an excellent lesson in the "less is more" style of cooking.


S.K. said...

For a moment, I thought you were gonna catch a few frogs and use their thighs for rice (makes it also a Chinese dish). All kidding aside, I find that frog legs do taste like chicken and it makes a pretty decent substitute.

Winslow said...

Hi S.K.,

This is what I get for mixing cooking and nature study. :) I do have some frog recipes, I believe, but I prefer the local Wood Frogs and their kin as pleasant neighbors. Besides, they have enough to worry about due to the local herons' taste for frog sushi.

Having said that, frog and rice would make a fine Chinese dish, and I suspect I could buy frog at the Asian supermarket. Hmmm.