Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pork Fried Rice

Summer is over, but each change in season brings a much welcomed adjustment to the meal planning, and fall is a tasty one.  The transition to Autumn has been smooth with warm sunny days, cool nights, and a continued lack of any decent rain.  BLT season is certainly over, and I’m actually okay with that as we’ve eaten them for lunch or dinner at least 20 times in the past 6 weeks.  Too much of something brings a lack of appreciation.  No more BLT’s or cucumber tomato salads with garden produce until 2014, let us get back into the kitchen (been grilling BLT’s all summer, it’s a great method) and use that oven again.  Or the stovetop, so you can quickly prepare this pork fried rice.  The opportunity to tuck into some casseroles and potato gratins will soon be here.  We'll be stirring up plenty of risottos soon, here is one of my faves.  This roasted tomato soup with cheddar crouton is the perfect shift from summer to fall, using up the very last tomatoes still clinging to the withered vines next to my garage, with a chiffonade of basil that hasn’t yellowed yet thanks to plenty of September sunshine.  

The Oktoberfest beers (current choice) and pumpkin ales (current choice) are populating the shelves.  Football is on, NHL hockey is back, (it's only preseason?) and very soon I won’t have to suffer through any more Cubs games this season.  Even though summer is over, there is much to like about fall.  Especially with the current NFC North rankings.  Sausage.  Ditka.  Bears.

   
 My preferred grocer sells pork cutlets which dice up easy for this meal.  You could probably find the same, or break down a small loin, and as a last resort ground pork would do the job.  If you don't like the spice, then certainly don't use hot peppers.  I substituted edamame for frozen peas, as the kid wouldn't eat them.  She gobbled them up the day before, so why would I even think about serving them again so soon?  Mushrooms are optional, the addition of bok choy would be great for some green Asian flair.  We prefer brown rice vs. white, that's your choice.  Just be sure it's leftover or cooked a few hours in advance and then chilled- it makes a difference, I've tried fresh hot rice and it is not the same.  

The trick to this quick cooking one-skillet meal?  Mis en place!  
  
Pork Fried Rice
4-6 servings

3 TB soy sauce
5 TB rice wine vinegar
1 TB sesame oil
1/4 ts white sugar
3/4 lb thin pork cutlets, 1/2" dice
1/2 C frozen peas
1 C sliced bella/cremini mushrooms
1 medium carrot, small dice
1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small white or red onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 C broccoli florets
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 C cold cooked brown rice
2 green onion, thinly sliced
S&P
chow mein noodles, optional
jalapeno/serrano peppers optional 

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.  Set aside.  

In a large heavy skillet, heat a couple TB of canola oil over medium high heat.  Once hot, cook the pork, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes until no longer pink.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the vegetables (except green onion) and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender.  Season with a touch of S&P while cooking.

Turn down the heat to medium and add the lightly beaten eggs, scramble until just set.

Add the rice, pork, and soy sauce mixture.  Turn down the heat to medium low for a couple minutes while stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through.  Taste and season with S&P if needed.

Serve in bowls topped with green onion and crunchy chow mein noodles,  add thinly sliced jalapeno or serrano if you like.  I like.  You like? Xiǎngshòu!


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