Monday, October 4, 2010

Garlic Pork Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite dishes to get from a Chinese take out place. I could eat that as a meal on its own. I have done just that on many occasions. Why not? It's got protein, veggies and a starch. Sounds like a meal to me.

So when I saw the recipe for garlic fried rice on Tasty Kitchen you know I went gaga for it. I've tried making my own fried rice before and the results were just meh. This was probably because I used one of those little instant fried rice seasoning packets from the store. This recipe is so much better, and dare I say better than the take out version too.You know I made changes to the recipe, cause that's how I roll. First, I reduced the amount of butter from 1 1/2 T to soak the garlic, and down to 3T of butter to saute the veggies. I still thought the dish was a bit too buttery for our tastes. The next time I make this I'll knock the amounts of butter down to 1 T and 2 T.

After starting this recipe I realized that I had used up the rest of the juice in the little plastic lemon. When did that happen? I had one of those, "now what am I gonna use" moments. I had just made a pitcher of orange-strawberry-banana juice. Well, that's sorta citrus-y so why not use that? The recipe ONLY calls for a teaspoon of juice. You couldn't even taste the juice. I think with the reduction in butter, I'll add a whole Tablespoon of juice next time.

I had two leftover thin pork chops that needed to be used, I cut up both of them. After the pork chops were, well, chopped, they equaled a slightly heaping cup. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup. I think 1/2 cup would be a bit scant on the meat for us. 1 to 1 1/2 cups of meat is more accurate for meat-a-tarians like us.

One cup of veggies seemed a bit scant as well. I used a half cup each of corn, carrots, green beans and peas. I think this dish could handle even more veggies.

I wish that I had green onions to add to the mix. The recipe calls for green onions, but I didn't have any. I used extra white onion to make up for the lack of green onion. Next time I'll make sure I have the green onion. While it was delicious without, fried rice seems weird without green onions in it.

Next time, I would also add some freshly grated ginger and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of zing, spice and heat. Mrblocko agreed these would be tasty additions. I think I'll also add an extra egg as the eggie bits are Blockette's favorite part of the stir fry.

Garlic Fried Rice from Tasty Kitchen
6 Tablespoons Butter, Divided Use
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1 cup Frozen Peas And Carrots
½ cups Diced Ham Or Cooked Chicken
3 whole Eggs Beaten
3 cups Cooked Rice, Chilled
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce Or More To Taste
2 whole Scallions, Chopped
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small glass dish in the microwave. Add the minced garlic and lemon juice to the melted butter and stir to combine. Set aside to allow the flavors to mingle.

This dish comes together so fast that EVERYTHING needs to be chopped, measured, and ready to add. Chop the onions and scallions, then measure out the peas/carrots, ham, rice, and soy sauce. Finally, you should beat the eggs in a small bowl.

In a large, non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the diced ham or chicken. Cook for 1 minute. Push all of the contents of the skillet to one side to keep them from cooking too much. On the empty side of the skillet, add the beaten eggs. Season with a little salt and pepper and scramble until just set. Integrate the eggs with the veggies and move everything back to the edge of the skillet.

Quickly add the garlic mixture to the pan and use a spatula to break it up. Cook it for about 1 minute or so (longer if you do not want an intense, in-your-face garlic bite). If you are worried about the strong flavor of garlic, you can add the same amount of garlic but add it with the peas and carrots. This will give the garlic ample time to mellow and sweeten by the name everything is cooked.

Add the cold, cooked rice and mix it in with the other ingredients. Add the soy sauce and stir to combine. Stir it every 30 seconds for about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and/or additional soy sauce, if desired. Stir one last time and transfer everything to a serving bowl.

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