Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eric's Fried Rice

Eric and I both love food. While I do most of the actually cooking, he does participate in the recipe development, offering more than "I like it," "I hate it," or "it needs more salt." He takes his time and gives real thought to what would make a dish better. A few weeks ago we had homemade pasties (if you don't know what a pastie is, click here) bought from a local church event. His was beef, mine turkey, both with rutabaga and onion inside. While the pastry dough was to die for, the inside was a bit dry and flavorless--though I did discover that I like rutabaga. Eric immediately wanted me to try to make my own, but with my diced rosemary potatoes and some type of sauce inside. Cooking is a collaborative effort for us. But Eric does have a couple recipes of his own that he always cooks--seared parmesan chicken and fried rice.

After extensive research and a number of hit or miss attempts, Eric finally got it just right. He now does fried rice better than any restaurant out there. It basically comes down to two key tricks: cold rice and sesame oil.

Since Eric doesn't measure anything out other than the rice, this is more of a guideline than a precise recipe.

We were up north at my parents' cabin so we didn't have our wok and things got a little messy.
3 cups instant white rice, prepared and refrigerated for at least 24 hours or frozen for at least 4 hours
soy sauce, to taste (Eric prefers Kikkoman. I prefer low-sodium)
about 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots, prepared
2 to 3 eggs, depending on how much you like eggs
sesame oil
2 cups prepared chicken, shredded, optional

Prepare your rice according to package directions. If you want rice for tomorrow's dinner, place in the refrigerator. If you're not good at planning your meals ahead of time--we're not--place the rice in the freezer for at least four hours. Refrigerating or freezing the rice prevents it from soaking up the oil and turning into mush.

Scramble and cook your eggs then set aside.

Cook the peas and carrots according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rice. Continuously toss or stir so all the rice becomes coated in the oil and fried. Add eggs, vegetables, and chicken. Toss. Add soy sauce to taste. Cook until the food is thoroughly warmed.

Fried rice, shrimp in an herb butter sauce, parmesan tomatoes, and zucchini bites.

Eric has made this for both our families and they've both raved about. In fact, Eric's mom made his rice herself not too long ago and it turned out stupendous. And while we were up north with my parent a few weeks ago, Eric taught my mom how to make it.




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