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Thai Fried Rice

by Anne Maxfield on July 23, 2015

Accidental Locavore Thai Fried Rice (2)The beauty of fried rice is that it’s great for all those small bits of leftovers you have cluttering the fridge. The Accidental Locavore had a bunch of stuff that needed to be put to good use and it was lunchtime…. Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go, this comes together really quickly! Generously serves 1:

  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup meat (thinly sliced pork, chicken, shrimp, etc)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or run through a press
  • 1 extra large or jumbo egg, well beaten
  • 1-2 cups cooked rice, preferably Thai jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 good squirt Sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 2 scallions, chopped


  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Thai basil
  • Mint, chopped
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Soy sauce

Accidental Locavore Making Thai Fried RiceGather all your ingredients near the stove. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan. If you need to cook any of the meat, add that now and stir-fry until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beaten egg and cook until scrambled. Add the rice, pressing it against the pan and then stir-frying it for about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, Sriracha and scallions and toss until well-mixed, about 30 seconds. Taste and add more fish sauce or Sriracha as needed. Serve with your choice of garnishes and enjoy!

My verdict: Since my favorite Thai fried rice is about 3000 miles away (in Rancho Mirage, CA), this is a fine substitute! This is really just to get you started–feel free to add whatever is taking up room in your fridge. The day I made it for lunch, we had half a wonderful Thai sausage from Jacuterie, roast pork and a rotisserie chicken, so they all went in along with some broccoli, and a mushroom or two. Any vegetables can be tossed in, just be sure to add them early if they need to be cooked. I love cilantro, mint and Thai basil on top, a squirt of lime and maybe a dash of soy sauce. And don’t let the wok scare you; if it’s well seasoned it’s super easy to clean! What would go in your fried rice?


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Will These Be Your New Favorite Pork Chops?

by Anne Maxfield on April 23, 2015

Accidental Locavore Pork Chop and CauliflowerA good looking pair of pork chops caught the Accidental Locavore’s eye the other day, and seemed to be just the thing to put a recipe from bon appetit titled “Your New Favorite Pork Chops” to the test. It requires a little hands-on attention, but you can just do what I did and park the iPad close to the stove to answer emails between flipping chops. Serves 2 or more depending on the size of your chops.

  • 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 2   1½”-thick bone-in pork chops (8–10 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8  sprigs sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon  unsalted butter

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season pork chops all over (including the sides) with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until bottom side is golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook on other side about 1 minute before turning again. Repeat this process, turning about every minute, until chops are deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 135°, 8–10 minutes (cooking time will depend on thickness of chops).

Accidental Locavore Favorite Pork ChopsRemove pan from heat and add sage, garlic, and butter, smashing garlic into butter. Tilt skillet and spoon foaming butter and drippings over pork chops, making sure to baste all over. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes (pork will come to 145° as it sits). Serve whole or sliced with the juiced spooned over and enjoy!

My verdict: While I’m not ready to say these are my favorite pork chops, they were awfully good! Done in a cast iron skillet, they were nicely browned, and perfectly cooked, yet still juicy and delicious (even without being brined, which I considered doing). The next time I make the French style ones (which are my personal favorites), I’m going to try cooking them like this (I did and they were great!). And even though they say you’re not supposed to turn steaks more than once, if no one is paying attention, I may give that (or some lamb chops) a try.



Asian Style Pork Tenderloin With Brussels Sprouts

by Anne Maxfield on March 19, 2015

Accidental Locavore Brussels Sprout PrepSince the Accidental Locavore’s trip to France last year, we always have a pork tenderloin (or two) hanging around. And adding Brussels sprouts to any dish is almost a no-brainer in my house. This is from epicurious and serves 4:

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Salt
  • Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 to 1 red Thai chile pepper, seeded and very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint

Accidental Locavore Asian Brussels SproutsPreheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 of the grated garlic cloves, ginger, Sriracha and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place pork in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, tossing to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 grated garlic clove, fish sauce, lime, honey, chile pepper, peanuts and 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast 15 minutes, then toss. Continue to roast until browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade (saving the marinade) and sear on all sides until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Turn tenderloins onto their fourth side and add broth to pan. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork, basting occasionally, until internal temperature reaches 140°- 145° about 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, and reserve skillet.

Accidental Locavore Pork With Brussels SproutsAdd reserved marinade to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping up the browned bits, until thickened to a pan sauce that coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve the sliced pork with the pan sauce and the Brussels sprouts, sprinkle with mint, and enjoy!

My verdict: I’ve made this twice for two people, using the whole recipe for the sauce and vinaigrette, but with only one pork tenderloin and fewer Brussels sprouts. It’s a really good dish, but I’m not totally convinced that the two components need each other. Brussels sprouts with fish sauce (and cilantro) are a surprisingly great combo and the peanuts add a nice crunch. The pork with the marinade/sauce is really good and would be fine with any number of vegetables like bok choy or spinach (especially if you’re not a sprouts fan). If you have time (or remember), you can marinate the pork ahead of time—just refrigerate it.



Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Mussels

by Anne Maxfield on January 9, 2014

Accidental Locavore Moroccan Mussels Somehow the Accidental Locavore managed to catch an episode of Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals the other day. This one had him make a batch of mussels in a Moroccan-inspired sauce. Mussels are so easy to cook and these looked great!  This will serve 2.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, run through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 small preserved lemon (or ½ if they’re big)
  • 1 pinch of saffron (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2  pounds mussels (check and discard any broken or open ones*)

Accidental Locavore Mussels CookingIn a roasting pan (or casserole that can go on the stove top) over low heat (you’ll probably need to use two burners) add the olive oil, garlic and harissa. Stir to combine.

In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, cilantro, lemon, saffron and pepper. Process until pureed. Taste and add salt if needed. Add this to the roasting pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium-high. When the sauce starts to bubble, add the mussels in a single layer and cover with aluminum foil (pan will be hot, be careful not to burn yourself), or the lid if your pan has one. Cook for 5-7 minutes until all the mussels have opened. Serve with toasted bread to soak up the sauce and enjoy!

My verdict: I’m always thinking I should be making mussels because they’re easy and delicious. These were amazing – simple, and a fabulous combination! Definitely going to be making these again (and again).  May even have to buy a deep fryer to start making “frites” to go with them. I make my own preserved lemons, but you can order them online. My favorite harissa had gone bad, so I just used the regular stuff in a tube, but I’ve ordered more of the good one, so the next batch of mussels will be spectacular! Because of all the other strong flavors, I left the saffron out, thinking it might be wasted. This would also be a good sauce to cook fish or shrimp in and serve over couscous.

*When you go to cook mussels, if there are any open ones, tap them on the counter. If they close, they’re fine, if not, toss them. Once they’re cooked, if they’re not open, toss those. Better safe than sorry.