November 27, 2009

Mark Bittman's Impromptu Fried Rice

To balance out the Oh So Yummy recipes I'll post some healthy ones too.  This vegetarian recipe comes from the book "Food Matters" by Mark Bittman.  This recipe can only be classified as pure awesomeness - and it's full of stuff that's good for you!  You can eat it by itself as a light lunch or for dinner I like to dice up some baked chicken and mango for a sweet/savory mix with a punch of protein.  Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum.  This picture is straight from my stove top.

Makes: 4 servings; Time: 20 minutes, with cooked rice (Maybe I spent too many years being a carb-a-phobe but this seems like way more than 4 servings to me.  Serving it with chicken we got 6 meals out of it.)

• 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (I use olive)
• 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
• 1/2 pound green beans or asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (I've tried both)
• 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas (optional) (mandatory in my opinion)
• 1 cup soy or mung bean sprouts (optional)
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
• 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger, or to taste
• 3 to 4 cups cooked brown rice
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional) (love it with the egg!)
• 1/4 cup sherry, white wine, stock, or water (wine, duh)
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional) (hate cilantro but that's just me)

Keri's Tips - #1 you must cook the rice the day before and let it set up in the fridge or it will be too wet to use.  #2 the ingredients go into the pan pretty quick and there is a lot of chopping - you might want to prepare everything ahead of time so you're not running around like a crazy person.

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. A minute later, add the scallions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat if the mixture starts to brown too quickly. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

Add the green beans or asparagus and cook, again over high heat, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and just tender, about 5 minutes. Add them to the bowl with the vegetables. If you're using the peas, drain them if necessary and add them, along with the bean sprouts (if you're using them), to the skillet; cook, shaking the skillet, for about a minute, or until steaming. Add them to the bowl, too.

Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic and ginger. Just a few seconds later, begin to add the rice, a little at a time, using a spatula to break up the clumps, and toss it with the oil. When all the rice is added, make a well in its center and break the eggs into it if you're using them; scramble them a bit with the spatula, then stir to incorporate them into the rice.

Return the vegetables to the pan and use the spatula to fold everything until combined. Add the wine and cook, still folding, for about a minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro, and serve.

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