Monday, July 18, 2011

rice is nice.

(yep, that's a well-loved cast iron skillet, y'all) 

Fried rice and I, well, we go way back.  My family tradition was/is always to go for Chinese after church on Sundays.  While in seminary, I became so familiar with a delicious Thai place that when I would call to order my Thai fried rice, they would say (with a smile you could hear) "Whitney?"  I love fried rice.  But, as I said earlier, I've never attempted to make it.  So, when I came across this recipe in my Rachael Ray magazine that included an whimsical story of a mother and daughter having it as a welcome reward after hiking up Machu Picchu, I had to make it.  It has a strange-seeming combo of Mexican and Chinese flavors (I do believe that's what in the foodie world is termed "fusion"), but just tastes fantastic.  Here's Rachael's recipe (with my slight variations):



  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) white beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix, thawed (I prefer fresh diced carrots to frozen ones, but frozen peas really are best)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I find that cilantro's like street preachers: a little bit goes a long way.  I just used 1/4 cup)


  1. In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, cover the rice with water and
    stir until the water becomes cloudy; drain and repeat twice. Return the
    rice to the saucepan, add 1 cup cold water, cover and cook over
    medium-low heat until the water has been absorbed and the rice is
    cooked, about 25 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until
    set and just dry, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool; coarsely chop.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add the
    scallion whites and bell pepper (and carrots) and cook until crisp-
    tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the beans
    and peas-carrots mix and cook until heated through; transfer to a large
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and the cumin over medium-high heat. Stir in the cooked rice. Spread into a single layer
    and cook, undisturbed, until the rice forms a crust, about 3 minutes.
    Break up the rice and sprinkle with the soy sauce. Stir in the scallion
    greens, cilantro, bean mixture and eggs and cook until heated
    So fresh and (yes) fragrant.  A great veggie supper.  I also added extra
    fresh chopped scallions at the end and an extra sprinkle of soy sauce
    on my serving.

Bon appetit!

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