Fried Rice

Yesterday ended a great visit from my sister and her family, which included lots of meals at home, since eating out with three kids 5 and under can be a challenge. While we did enjoy one lunch at Old Glory, we mostly cooked. And while we went through plenty of food, I found myself with several leftovers yesterday, at a loss as to what I wanted to eat. The choice was mine alone, since George was away for a night and Charlie was in the mood for (surprise, surprise) chicken nuggets.

Luckily, I started thinking about dinner at lunchtime (not unusual) and decided the best use of the leftover pork tenderloin would be to try my hand at pork fried rice. I’ve tried to make fried rice before and have liked different recipes fine, but haven’t found one that really nailed the delicious pork fried rice we get at our favorite Asian restaurant in DC. It was worth trying something new. So I cooked some rice at lunch and then let it cool in the fridge until dinnertime, and started searching for good fried rice recipes.

A Google search landed me on this recipe, as well as on a great blog that is now a favorite, “Dinner: A Love Story”.  It is mostly a recipe/cooking website, but with book suggestions/discussion thrown in – eating and reading, two of my favorite things!

If you know me, you know I don’t like peas AT ALL, IN ANYTHING – so I left those out, and added a couple of diced carrots instead. I also added some shallots, because I didn’t have as many green onions as the recipe called for and I like onions a lot.

The result was delicious. I had to cook the rice longer than she did, probably because mine wasn’t day old takeout rice but cold rice I’d cooked mid-day. It took a little longer to develop the crisp-ness I wanted.  I also didn’t do a great job of scrambling the eggs before mixing them into the rice, so my rice didn’t have the pieces of egg in it that I would have liked. But it was still the closest I’ve come to takeout fried rice yet. And it was a great use for the leftover pork tenderloin that probably otherwise wouldn’t have been eaten.

While we’re on the topic of eggs, another one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen, taught me how to poach eggs this morning! I was in Richmond for a night last weekend and met up with a good college friend I hadn’t seen in several years. He took me to a delicious brunch spot, where I had salmon eggs benedict that was fabulous. It made me wonder why I’d never tried to poach eggs at home. So when I found this: I figured I should give it a try.

The first round didn’t work at all. I got overzealous with the swirling of the water step, and when I slid my egg in, the white split into dozens of stringy pieces on the top of the water, and the yolk sunk. Yuck. Luckily, though, I decided to try again – because the next egg came out perfectly poached. I swirled the water gently and then SLOWLY eased my egg into the turning water – and voila, most of it stayed together in a perfect little cloud of egg. It sunk to the bottom of the pan, but I followed her instructions and eased my spatula under it after about 30 seconds, and the egg slid gently across the bottom of the pot. And when I lifted it out 3.5 minutes later, it was cooked perfectly. Success!