Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bacon-pineapple noodles

I improv-ed (that would be improvised, not improved, although, maybe it is a bit improved) a dish last night in attempting to feed six people and thought I'd share. For some reason when cooking for a large group I never take a normal recipe and double or triple it, but just add more ingredients to fill out a dish I normally make. Weird, I know.

One of my long-time favorites to make for guests is Bacon-Pineapple Fried Rice, which is essentially 1 box Rice-a-Roni fried rice, 1 can pineapple slices, a 12 oz. package bacon, 1 large sweet onion, and sprinkling of sunflower seeds. (It probably goes without saying, but you chop the pineapple coarsely, dice and cook the onion, and cook and break up the bacon before mixing all together.) I almost feel the need to put fried rice in quotes because Rice-a-Roni fried rice is barely rice, and tastes nothing like actual fried rice in any way. I just really like the flavorings in it.

At any rate, I was making my second dish of the evening with rice, and, not wanting to be monotonous, decided to substitute ramen noodles for the mostly-pasta-anyway Rice-a-Roni. Then, to make it somewhat more heathful as a main meal, added carrots, red pepper, and water chestnuts (and substituted almonds for sunflower seeds because that's what was accessible). The result was something that should have tasted mostly the same but instead was a completely different meal. I like both of them, and can't pick a favorite (and both get packed away by guests with equal gusto). Not that I have to choose just one!

Since I have the photo from last night, here's the full details of this particular recipe. You'll need:
  • 6 packages ramen noodles (only 2 ramen flavoring packets, beef)
  • flavoring packet from Rice-o-Roni's fried rice
  • 1 can pineapple slices, chopped
  • 12 oz. package bacon, chopped and separated
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 oz. or so raw almonds, chopped
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chunked
1. Put pineapple, almonds, and water chestnuts into large pot.

2. Cook the carrots. (I was steaming other things in my dual-level steamer and used that for 15 minutes or so.) Add to large pot.

3. Saute the onion and red pepper and add to pot.

4. Cook the bacon and set aside. (You can cook individual slices and crumble, or chop it up beforehand and cook it in two batches, which is faster.)

5. Cook ramen with two cups of water to every three packages noodles. (I did this in two batches, one with the beef flavoring and one with the fried rice flavoring, and had to break up the noodle blocks a little to get more of them touching the water.)

6. Mix vegetables, noodles and bacon together over low-medium heat and then serve!

Note: You might find a better method of cooking all the ingredients more simultaneously... I'm terrible at juggling a lot of things at once and with a dish like this end up cooking all the ingredients just slightly underdone and then completing the cooking in the final warm-up.

Second note: Yes, this leaves you with a box of plain Rice-o-Roni and extra beef flavoring packets. I'll have to let you know if that turns out as an edible side-dish another time.

No comments:

Post a Comment