Monday, January 12, 2009

DING! rice is done!

Over the course of our marriage, I have at times, stumbled upon dishes that my wife thinks are great. Much more numerous are the times where she looked at me after trying/smelling it as if to ask me if I truly believed she would eat that. She might insinuate it's from me not measuring, (I use my palm to measure things, and experienced cooks/chefs will tell you if you've done it for a long time, it's accurate!) My personal belief is that this stems from a profound difference in our food upbringing, as well as a difference in taste buds. She is much more sensitive to spices that I grew up eating (namely Italian ones) and finds things much more "spiced" than I do in general, particularly if one of the aforementioned (YES!!!) spices is used. Her mother didn't cook with salt or much in the way of spices, so the first few things I made for her blew her taste buds out of the water, to say the least. Over the course of time, she's become less sensitive, but I still make many mistakes here and there.

When I used to make sauce for example (yes, I mean tomato), it was heavily laden with Basil and Oregano, with a shot of Thyme thrown in for good measure. When making it now, I have to tone down the spices quite a bit, so it tastes different than what I remember; still good, but different. I've gotten to the point now that I try and make sure to let her taste it after I've waved the spice jar over the stuff before I add too much. I will say that since going vegan again, she's eating onion in things, a feat I never thought possible.

Being a former professional cook (not chef.. cook, I don't have a culinary degree), this was, suffice it to say, disappointing and frustrating for both of us. You never want to be the cook that makes food no one else will eat but you. While that's certainly a good way to keep yourself fed, it's not a good way to keep your family happy. Thankfully, this is not one of those dishes. It's actually painfully simple, made even more simple by the fact that half the work is usually done for me before I get home.

Fried Rice

Ingredients: (Yes that is a cast iron wok, thanks for asking!)

This makes enough for 2 if it's all you're eating, 4 if it's a side.
  • 3-4 TBS Canola, Peanut or other light tasting "saute friendly" oil. You could also use Coconut oil if you like that taste in your rice
  • 2 Cups frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked rice (we use organic brown rice, cooked to perfection on the Gaba cycle of our Zojirushi Rice Maker)
  • 1 tsp Sesame seed oil (regular or toasted)
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard seed powder
  • 1/4 Cup Low Sodium Tamari, Shoyu or Soy Sauce
A bit on the powder. You could certainly use "real" garlic and onion (in fact I would use whole onion, but my wife is opposed to it in rice), but I find that the lack of other things in this simple rice makes it feel more, I dunno, clean.

Over high heat, cook the peas in 2 TBS oil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add cooked rice, and add a little more canola oil and the sesame oil. I find that damp starchy foods (read: freshly cooked rice) stick to that pan on high heat, despite my attempts to season it over and over again. Stir the rice for a few minutes, then add the spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the Tamari. Stir through and serve hot.

Feel free to add any veggies you find to your liking. Any long cooking or frozen veggies would need to go in before hand (alternatively you could steam them first, then toss them around at first just to give them a little color.)

1 comment:

the rachface said...

I like spices! I doooo! Hey, didn't you make this up one night and I said "oh I'll never eat it" and then the next thing you know, I'm demanding it like every day... man this rice is good.