Friday, June 27, 2008

RQ Cooks- Poverty Fried rice

That giant pork roast is still alive and kicking, though I think for just one more day. By the time payday rolls around next week I think the kid and I will be so sick of pork products that we may even eschew bacon for a while (Not Bacon!!!!).

When I was in high school I learned a super easy recipe for fried rice that I have modified over the years so that it can be made with damn near anything that is left floating in the fridge (including bacon!). The trick, for the meat eaters anyways, is to cook everything in some kind of meat fat if you can. Bacon grease works very well. I used fat from the pork roast.

First, start the rice. Basic white rice is fine. I throw in a tablespoon of this Croatian soup starter that I have called Vegeta, but you can substitute some chicken of beef bullion (or leave it plain) if you like. While the rice is simmering you cook everything else.

So I took some of that congealed jelly/fat stuff that's coating the bottom of the roast pan and melted it in my giant skillet/wok. Mix with a little regular vegetable oil (olive oil is too strongly flavored) to keep from burning. Then add your chopped veggies. Carrots (sliced on the diagonal so that there is more surface area getting heated and they cook fast)go first cause they are hardest. Then white onion sliced into long thin strips and some celery. You can also throw in whatever other veggies may be near death in the fridge, even thin strips of cabbage. Just remember that the veggies go in the pan in order of hardness so that nothing gets over cooked. Lastly I added some shredded bits of the pork roast and a few dashes of soy sauce. Then I turned the pan to low while waiting for the rice to finish.

If you have an egg or two, now is a good time to give it a quick scramble. If you have the space in your pan- just push all the veggies and meat to the side and scramble the eggs in the middle. If not, use a separate pan and add back into the veggies when they are cooked. Or skip the eggs if you're out of them or don't like them (we were out).

Once the rice is done, add a little extra fat to the meat and veggies, turn the heat up and dump the rice into the mix. Stir and heat till the rice gets that lovely brownish fried color, adding a bit more soy sauce to help the process. The viola, poverty fried rice. You can garnish with some chopped scallions if you like.

(When I learned to make this in high school it was with bacon and scallions and Chinese 5 spice. I don't like the combo of 5 spice with savory dishes, so I changed it. But if you want to try something a bit different, give it a go)

ETA: Yes, you could even put cauliflower in this if you are an evil evil bastard.

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