Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kimchi Fried Rice

When I got my flu shot in October, they told me it would protect me from 3 strains of influenza. What they did not tell me is that it would not protect against the H3N2 strain of the flu, which is what took over my body last Wednesday.

Thanks to the fact I'm healthy and I did get a small dose of protection from the vaccine, it's not debilitating. It's just that it's a pain in the butt and I feel like crap. Sore throat, full sinus cavities, bad cough and really achy joints.

I just put a new 40" 4K TV (Ultra High Definition) in my office, so while I've been sick I've simply done an ass-plant and have been video bingeing while I wait for my health to improve. So in case you get sick, I'm going to share with you three of my favorite binge-worthy TV shows.

First up is The Missing.  This 6-part TV series was produced by the BBC and is available there or on Starz on demand. It's the story of an Irish couple that go on holiday to France. When their car breaks down in a small French village, they stay in an inn while they wait for their car to be repaired. The father takes the boy swimming and when he goes to get something to drink, his boy disappears.

The story is riveting as it jumps back and forth from 2006 (the year Ollie went missing) to present day. The acting is great, especially Tchéky Karyo who plays the lead inspector. It's only six episodes and it's binge-worthy (and nominated for 2 Golden Globes).

Next up is Gracepoint. This 10-episode series just ended on Thursday night. It's a compelling mystery about 2 detectives trying to solve the murder of a 12-year old boy. The plot turns are terrific and there's a great acting job done by Nick Nolte. I highly recommend it. It's available on FX On Demand or iTunes.

Next up is Marco Polo. This is a brand new show made just for Netflix. They just posted the entire first season. Now I'm only 3 episodes into it but I am absolutely hooked. Marco's warm, loving father trades his son to Kublai Khan in exchange for a trade route. The story is based on his adventures in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century China. This is the Netflix version of HBO's Game of Thrones. All of the great complex plots, violence and sex you've come to enjoy in GOT are there in Marco Polo. Done by Weinstein Company, the production values are fantastic. Available only on Netflix.

So that will satisfy your viewing pleasure while you have the flu. Remember to drink a massive amount of fluids and you must eat to keep your strength up. For eating, I strongly recommend Andrew Zimmern's recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice. It gives you will completely clear your sinuses...and it's the perfect complement to bingeing on Marco Polo. Serves six.

    1 1/2 cups short-grain Asian rice
    2 cups water
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 cups sliced roast pork
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 dried red chile
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 ounces mung bean sprouts
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups kimchi, coarsly chopped and drained, liquid reserved
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the rice with the water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Spread the rice on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a very large skillet, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Add the sliced pork and stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, chile and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then push the mixture to one side of the skillet. Add the egg to the other side of the skillet and scramble just until set, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add the cold rice to the skillet and stir-fry over high heat until coated and hot, about 2 minutes. Add the kimchi, scallions, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir-fry until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the fried rice into bowls, garnish with thinly sliced scallions and serve. 

Wine pairing: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc


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