Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Carbonara-esque Fried Rice in 10 minutes or less

bMarch is my least favorite month in Yankee Land.  A few warm (50+) days melted the remainder of our 7 feet of snow and made everyone think spring was imminent... but today it never got above 39 and snow flurried all afternoon. [Actually, I appreciated the snow. If it's gonna stay cold, it may as well snow.] I mean, I love my jaunty red thrift-store puffy coat, but I'm getting tired of wearing it, know what I'm saying? 
These plants are all supposed to come back to life "in the spring"
My real problem is that it's so gray without the white snow or green trees. The trees will start budding in a few weeks and blooming in another month, but I'm not supposed to replant my fire escape until after the last freeze in May. [I think greens like arooogula can start sooner, since back in Texas they're a winter crop.] My poor kitchen herbs are all leggy and dying to get away from the grow light and back in some real sun [and I brought half of them from Texas with me, so they know what they're missing.] Sigh.

Anyway, my winter malaise doesn't inspire creative or complicated cooking.  To wit:  Carbonara-esque Fried Rice 

I think I've mentioned leftovers fried rice is a staple at my house, but this time I didn't have anything but the [brown] rice left over.  I did, however, have some prosciutto that was a little on the dry side, so I diced a few slices and pan fried them in a teaspoon of olive oil 'til crispy while I nuked some frozen peas for  a minute to warm them up*, then stirred still-cold rice in with the meat and let it sit for ~ 1 minute, untouched, to let a crust to form, stirred it, let it sit again, stirred in the peas and let it sit long enough for me to beat a couple eggs in a bowl and pour it over the top.** 

Stir until the egg is no longer runny [but not dry] dump in a serving bowl and top with some cracked black pepper and maybe some hot sauce.

Note: A real carbonara would have some kind of hard cheese like pecorino or parm grated into it, and the eggs would be added off heat to make sure it stayed creamy... and there's nothing wrong with either of those things as far as I'm concerned. 
You could add frozen peas with the cold rice, but the peas can get a little starchy where they touch the pan directly too long, and I'm just not a fan of starchy green peas unless I'm turning them into soup.

** That may be an excessively long sentence, but that's how the recipe works: once you start you just keep going 'til it's done.

1 comment:

  1. Fried rice carbonara is the bomb. I can't believe this isn't a staple these days and exploited on cooking shows. It only takes a couple minutes and has a killer taste and texture.

    I like your take on it, but as you know, this can be done a million ways with whatever's in the fridge. I've used (not together--these were separate dishes) roasted carrots, leftover roast pork, meatloaf, chopped up spaghetti with meat sauce, roasted beets, frozen shrimp, oscar meyer bologna, and almost every part of a chicken. The key is to let the rice cook until it's almost crunchy on the bottom before stirring or flipping things. It's a quick version of paella but the last minute addition of egg gives it creaminess. I'm with you on the frozen peas at the end--good idea.