Thursday, August 31, 2017

Summer Fried Rice

Previous to Smitten Kitchen's post, I thought of fried rice as just the Asian kind with Asian flavors like soy sauce, ginger, snow peas, the like.  But Deb's version just about matched the food that needed to be used up at my house, so I plunged in.

This was the kids' supper when my husband and I were leaving them with a babysitter to go out for dinner. I snitched a few bites before we left, and boy, I was so glad there were leftovers.  I had asked Genevieve if she wanted to make mac and cheese, or if I should do something; this fried rice was so easy, I didn't mind when she demurred.

 Here's how I made it.

Summer Fried Rice
Sauteed an onion in the wok in oil. Salt and pepper.
Added a large zucchini, chopped. Salt and pepper (Deb insists that seasoning each addition is crucial for flavor).
When that was hot but not soft (a few minutes), I added about 2 cups leftover rice, plus maybe a half-cup of corn.  A large tomato, chopped, and several sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped.  More salt and pepper.
When everything was hot, I set it aside and fried eggs for each person to go on top (this recipe serves 4-ish). Then there was about 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, some mixed into the fried rice, and some sprinkled on top of the egg.

Also, I like to set out ingredients for supper in the morning.  It's a visual comfort to see that supper is already in progress, plus it reserves those ingredients from the hungry hordes in my house and frees up fridge space. It may look like a tiny step to set a few things out on the counter, but it represents a much bigger step:  deciding what's for supper.

Here we have rice and corn in the leftover container, onion in the jar, and eggs, tomatoes, and zucchini waiting for the fried rice.  Supper decision is made, hallelujah!


sillygirl said...

I have started setting things out on the counter for the next meal or meals so I will remember what I'm going to fix! Usually just before I go to sleep at night I have in mind what the next day's menus will be but come morning I sometimes forget. That happens when you get older!!!

e said...

I love simple summer meals that use up garden produce! I've been eating a lot of pasta salad this summer with beans and zucchini.

Also, I am intrigued by the idea of setting out the dinner ingredients ahead of time. It has the added benefit of bringing the ingredients to room temperature!

Lisa said...

Oh! I'm going to do this tonight! Thanks!

Margo said...

e, yes, you're right: room temperature ingredients are usually the best for cooking.

Annie said...

You keep the cut up onion in a jar? Interesting. Might have to try this next time.

Margo said...

Annie, I use jars as leftover containers because I'm trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use. That's probably half an onion in there, although I suppose I could easily chop it up, too, and keep it in the jar in the fridge.

Jenny said...

This is so timely! My little guy can't eat pasta due to egg allergy, so we've been eating lots of rice and potatoes. I was hoping to find some new recipes to try with rice. This looks great!

Hazel said...

I loved the Parmesan in that rice- I hadn't thought of adding that before, although I do make non-Asian fried rice already.
I saw a recipe years ago called Too-Late-To-Shop-Rice, that's rice cooked with turmeric with chopped fried bacon, onion, peas and dried chilli flakes with egg. I think the eggs were cooked into flakes separately and sprinkled on top, but I've also cooked them with the rice (one pan!), fried them, rolled and sliced thin omelettes and put the rounds on top and I change the ingredients to suit what I have.
The children always liked 'yellow rice' and the turmeric is supposed to be good for us, so I add some even if I'm using leftover rice, and I try to eat mushrooms regularly since I read that leaving them in the sun for a couple of hours boosts their vitamin D content hugely.

Margo said...

Hazel, those rice ideas sound delicious! I'm going to try them. My husband always adds turmeric and peas when he makes fried rice.

I'm intrigued by the mushroom/vitamin D thing. Do you yourself set them out in the sun??

Becky said...

I made a version of this the other night - only my squash was pre-sauteed, aka, leftover....I call mine "clean out the fridge rice". Not to be confused with "clean out the fridge stir fry/burritos/quesadillas/quiche/soup". Clearly, a regular theme.

Hazel said...

Margot- An ethnobotanist in the UK called James Wong- who's a bit of a hero of mine- recently brought out a book explaining how you can increase the nutrition in foods by making simple swaps. The book is really interesting (if possible choose the dark version of a vegetable if there is one, especially purple!) and he quotes a study from Penn University on Vitamin D and mushrooms. It's so easy to do, if it only makes a bit of difference I think it's worth it.


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