Some months are busier than others, and this has been a busy month. A traveling husband, a busy season on the blog, chores that know no end, and three blessings who always keep me on my toes no matter what the day of the week it is. (What’s this you call a weekend? Time off, what?).
At the beginning of the month, I sat down and planned simple meals that would come together in about thirty minutes or less. My idea of a good meal plan in a busy season is one that is quick, yes, but also delicious and appealing. Otherwise, if I’ve planned meals that I don’t actually feel like eating, we will just end up going for convenience foods that satisfy the craving of the moment. Of course, I also give myself the buffer of stocking the freezer with nitrate-free hot dogs and frozen potstickers from my favorite warehouse store.
This fried rice dish fits that bill.
It’s a recipe that is one which is the result of a lot of trial and error. Over the years, I’ve learned a little about how to make a good fried rice dish. I’ve served up plenty of ho-hum dishes, plenty of overcooked meat, and plenty of vegetables that were either too hard or too mushy. I finally have it down.
The components are cooked individually. This ensures plenty of contact with the hot pan, which is essential when cooking food over higher heat in a short amount of time.
P.S. This is a 30-minute meal as long as you have cooked the rice ahead of time. You can cook it a day or two in advance, maybe make a double batch and then set aside some for this meal. The rice should be cool, not hot, when you put it in the pan to fry. We prefer brown rice for health and taste, and baking it in the oven is the only way I make it now. The rice consistently turns out perfect and it just requires about 5 minutes of hands-on prep, then an hour to cook in the oven. Easy peasy.
P.P.S. Sesame oil. Perhaps something you don’t have already in your kitchen, but it’s pretty essential to getting the right flavor in a good fried rice or lo mein dish. Splurge (a little) on a bottle and it will last you many nights of healthier-than-take-out Chinese dishes.
P.P.P.S. (Because I can’t stop with the addendums tonight). When I took these pictures, I used venison medallions. I’ve also used flank steak and chicken breasts. The vegetables are also rather interchangeable. Just pick vegetables with a similar hardiness.