19 November 2016

The best lunch we had yesterday

We've had a rainy, gray week. It hasn't been cold, but it's nearly impossible to get much done outside. So I focus on food and cooking. On Wednesday, we had to drive up to Blois to ask some questions about the tile we had chosen for our new shower. Luckily, within a few hundred meters of the tile supplier's store is the Grand Frais super-produce-market. Some grocery shopping made the trip more fun.

I bought something I never find in our Saint-Aignan supermarkets — some bok choy, a.k.a. Shanghai choy. It's a vegetable I like for its crunchy texture and mild clean taste. It's also very easy to cook. You just blanch it in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes and it's ready. Serve with soy sauce and sesame oil.

In the freezer we had some duck wings from the package I had bought last weekend. Since the bok choy gave me an Asian theme, I cooked the wings — just four pieces, but enough for the two of us — and glazed them with teriyaki sauce. They cooked for three hours, because I wanted to make sure they were very tender, with the meat nearly falling off the bones.

And to round it all out I made a pan of fried rice with smoked chicken lardons, mushrooms, onion, peanuts, and corn. Do you know the secret that makes fried rice really good? It's to cook the rice as you normally would, but then spread it out in a wide dish or pan and let it cool and dry out completely before you fry it with the flavor ingredients and sauces. I learned that from Elise at Simply Recipes.


  1. I sometimes encounter bok choy in the supermarkets around us, but not often. I buy it when I see it. We had fried rice yesterday too, from rice I'd cooked extra a few days before and spread out on a tray in the fridge. I can't remember where I learned that.

  2. Rice that's a day or two old, like what you had, is probably even better. But if you cook rice two or three hours before you plan to make fried rice, and then let it cool and dry out, whether in the fridge or not, that works too.

    Have you ever been to Grand Frais? If not, have a look the next time you happen to be in Blois. I noticed they also had kale (the curly kind) the other day. The selection of vegetables and fruit they carry is impressive, and prices are low. I see they now have a store in Tours and one in Châteauroux.

  3. I always cook the rice and then wash in cold water, drain for hours and then portion it and freeze. We microwave to defrost and heat very well. Always good and it hasn't killed us yet.

    1. I'd never find enough room in my freezer for all that rice!

  4. Good tip about the rice. That bok choy sure does look nice and fresh!

  5. The rice, the whole meal, looks great!

  6. Ken, bok choi is quite easy to grow....sow in late August....harvest now.
    Sow in early Spring....harvest end of May.... flea beetles are your only pest....
    It likes a heavy'ish soil and plenty of moisture... we've had good crops here, but on the sandy soil in Leeds....
    We had to water, water, water!!
    That does look a good meal!!

  7. That's a great tip about the rice, didn't know it.
    Thinking about your quince from the other day, I wonder if it would also do well with venison?

  8. Really like bok choy stir fried too. Yours sounds delicious. Leon and I never managed to find that supermarket even though a couple of people told us where to look. Next time!


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