The Dinner Project: Week 23

June 26, 2011

 

Fried rice is my new favorite. After making it for the first time a few weeks ago, I’m totally hooked. And not just because it’s so easy to make and uses up that cup or two of leftover rice that I always forget about, but simply put, it’s just damn good. I am at a loss for any other way to describe it. You’ll have to make it and see for yourself. Enjoy!

 

Spicy Fried Rice with Bean Sprouts, Chicken and Peanuts

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters cookbook

Preparation time: about 15 minuts

Cooking time: about 20 minutes

Serves: 4

 

You can follow this recipe to the T or use it as a loose set of guidelines using whatever is in your fridge, as I did. I had some spicy pork sausage from the farmers market and a bunch of kale, so I used the variation below but added kale as well. Also, I didn’t have any coconut milk, peanuts, basil or chiles and I’m sure that with those ingredients it would’ve been even more spectacular, but it honestly didn’t feel like it was lacking in any way without it. Mark Bittman also says that this recipe is great with leftover barley or quinoa, so feel free to mess around with ingredients. That’s what makes fried rice so awesome, you can pretty much use anything and it will always be delicious. My kind of recipe.

The variation that Mark Bittman suggests is this: Spicy Pork Fried Rice with Carrots, Pork and Peanuts. Use 2 grated carrots and pork instead of the carrot, bean sprouts and chicken.

 

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 carrot, chopped

3 cups bean sprouts

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into pieces of the same size

1 Tbsp minced garlic, or to taste

2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice, preferably chilled

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp fish sauce

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, preferably Thai

1 or more small fresh hot green chiles (preferably Thai), seeded and sliced

Lime wedges

 

1. Put 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, add the scallions, carrot and bean sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the mixture threatens to scorch. Transfer vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

2. Add another Tbsp of the oil to the pan, followed by the chicken pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, over high heat until the chicken is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the vegetables, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

3. Put the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic. About 15 seconds later, begin to add the rice, a bit at a time, breaking up any clumps with your fingers and stirring it into the oil. When all the rice is added, make a well in its center and break the egg into it; scramble it a bit, then incorporate it into the rice.

4. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and stir to integrate. Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has boiled off, just a minute or so. Add the fish sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanuts, basil and chiles. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

 

Monday, June 13 – Roasted red peppers, tuna & lentils in a dijon viniagrette (recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. Yum)

Tuesday, June 14 – BBQ smoked pork sandwich from Clear Creek Smokehouse, while working at the farmers market

Wednesday, June 15 – Farmers Market Sandwich: A fresh piece of bread topped with pimento goat cheese, sauteed kale, sliced garlic and a delicious fried egg (this is my go-to easy meal when I get back from the farmers market)

Thursday, June 16 – Dani made teriyaki stir fry with brown rice, tofu, kale & a lot of other delicious stuff; dessert of brown sugar shortbread topped with fresh blackberries and whipped cream (all from the farmers market)

Friday, June 17 – Falafels from King Solomon; Dani made the best ever strawberry rhubarb pie. She’s the best baker evs.

Saturday, June 18 – We split fish and chips at Batter’d & Fried

Sunday, June 19 – Lasagna from Alfresco Pasta

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