This was a particularly busy week for me. I went on a blog camping weekend,(more about the weekend later!) which was great on so many levels, but it also meant that I wouldn’t be able to spend Saturday cooking, shooting and writing. I had planned ahead, so I could make one post remotely…sort of. But we had no internet access, so I had post to Facebook via cell phone. Oh, yeah and all the photos except for the fried rice picture, are from my photographer friend, Heather Gill, who graciously let me “borrow” from her since I’d brought my camera, backpack, tripod etc, but left the chip in my card reader at home. (Note to self…buy an extra chip!)
Then there was a Tuesday after school swim meet, an evening meeting for me and tomorrow night’s Open House for Sophie and Emma’s musical on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The kid’s events take precedence over blogging, but even so, I really needed to squeeze in something this week, to keep up the rhythm.
Ahh, the pressure! I’m not complaining, I love what I am doing – all of it. I guess the point is, there are lots of days, when I don’t have the time to prepare a 3 course meal. I still don’t resort to fast food. There’s always something I can whip up quickly out of a nearly empty fridge.
Leftovers! I had made a pork roast the night before, but didn’t have quite enough for a second meal. Enter Mark Bittman’s, Almost Classic Pork Fried Rice, from Cooking Light’s January 2011 issue. The idea of stretching 8 ounces of meat to feed 4, appeals to me, since I like to use meat sparingly.
Fast forward to Monday. Spencer does all the non-Trader Joe’s grocery shopping during the school year. Our favorite ethnic market is on his way home from work. I had prepared the brown rice the night before, I had left-over pork. I’d read the recipe, I thought I’d had all the ingredients…they were all really basic ingredients. I had 45 minutes before the “golden hour” of 5 pm to throw a dish together and photograph it. Pressure. Where was the fresh ginger? Had I forgotten to tell Spencer to get fresh ginger? I was nearly ready to give up, postpone. I certainly didn’t have time to pop out to the store. AH! And then I remembered! I had won a lunch pack full of Gourmet Garden’s herbs in a tube at Camp Blogaway! NO WAY! I had ginger in a tube right in my fridge!
While I prefer fresh herbs, this was exactly the time where having herbs in a tube was so convenient! I used the Ginger and the Chunky Garlic. Now I wish I’d added some of the Lemon Grass because it would have been a perfect match…but then again, I was rushing. Oh, well, next time! Thank you Gourmet Garden! I made a few adjustments, I left out the bean sprouts and celery and added white onions and frozen peas. I also used cooked pork instead of raw, but you can add whatever left-over veggies or meat you have on hand.
Almost Classic Pork Fried Rice
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 pound diced cooked pork, (chicken or shrimp)
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup sliced green onions, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
3 cups cooked chilled brown rice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat.
- Add onions, and carrots and saute for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoons of oil to pan and add rice and pork, stirring 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 of green onions, and cook without stirring until edges begin to brown.
- Make a well in the center of rice and add the egg mixture, stirring for 30 seconds, or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly.
- Stir in mirin and 1/2 teaspoon salt, soy sauce, sesame oil , and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining green onions.
Makes 4 servings (2 cups per serving)