Thursday, December 15, 2011

Persian Fried Rice

Personally, I like restaurant leftovers. I know that lot of people don't like bringing food home because it just isn't great when you "nuke" it in the microwave the next day. Fried items get soggy, meats dry out, salad wilts - I get that.

Other foods, however, heat back up really well. But then there's the issue of not wanting to eat the same thing all over again. Some of you need variety. I get that too.

Hubby had a brilliant idea of what to do with some leftover rice and meat from a Persian restaurant we took some visitors to last week. "Could you make fried rice with that?" he asked. Sure, I answered. That's a great idea! I was just going to heat it up and serve it as it was! He's a smart one, my hubby.

We had chicken, beef, and two types of rice dishes. I also had onion, broccoli, and baby bok choy from my CSA box. This was perfect becuase we needed some vegetables and some color.

I parboiled (quickly and partially cooked) the broccoli florets that I had cut up by placing them in a small bowl and pouring boiling water over it, letting it sit for a few minutes. When the stems are tender and the tops are bright green, it's done. I have one of those electric hot water kettles, so this process made it SO much easier than boiling a pot of water on the stove and throwing in the broccoli. I need to file this tip away for later use.

While the broccoli cooked a bit in the bowl, I chopped up my onion and bok choy, along with the meat from the restaurant - all into bite-sized pieces.

With some canola oil in a hot pan, I sauteed the onion, bok choy, chicken, and beef.

Then  added both types of rice, the broccoli, and seasoned it all with salt, pepper, a little garam masala (Indian spice mix), and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It needed a little lemon to "brighten" up the dish. Food Network stars always say that. Now, I have too.

I cooked it over medium heat until the rice and meat were warmed through and moist again. We poured a couple of glasses of apple beer (I think it was Belgian), and sat down to eat a remodeled dinner.

I was reminded, with how yummy it turned out, what a great idea it is to use leftover rice in a fried rice dish. It's easy because you really can use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and whatever meat you may have either in the fridge or freezer (bacon is always a good add-in). Frozen peas or green beans, canned corn or mushrooms or water chestnuts or pineapple (!)...the sky's your limit when it comes to a simple fried rice.

Make it with Chinese flavors like soy sauce and sesame oil or Middle Eastern with cinnamon and coriander. Or, like I did, you can use Persian ingredients and put in a little Indian spice. Use the rice as your canvas for a delicious, comforting meal.

1 comment:

  1. I love leftovers! It is fun to figure out what to do with them.