One[ish] Pan Pork Fried Rice

When staring down a kitchen remodel, you have two choices. Resign yourself to eating out/ordering in for weeks on end, or figure out a way to cook without fancy things like sinks and counters (and with more dust than you’ve ever imagined).

While we would still have access to our grill, we are strictly speaking charcoal people, which is not the most convenient option for throwing together a quick meal. Though it is delicious.

That left me with figuring out some food prep options. Lots of food prep options. Like a TON of food prep options. Some basics, like lasagna (recipe to come) were old favorites and obvious choices. Others were new. Enter: pork fried rice.

It turned out to be an excellent choice. The rice stores well in the fridge or freezer and reheats easily in the microwave (just add a bit of water to soften the rice). It is crazy easy to make and one batch makes enough to feed approximately 132 people. Or about eight people as a main dish. It’s also delicious!

The one[ish] pan comes from the fact that everything but the rice is done in one pan. I do the rice ahead of time in a rice cooker. So, technically a two pan dish. Still pretty good.

Chop up some bacon and cook it to a crisp in a large pan. I use a deep saute pan, and it is FULL by the end. Gratuitous bacon shot:

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Ohhhh yeah.

While the bacon is cooking, prep the veggies: chop an onion, get the rest out of the freezer. I actually had fresh instead of frozen carrots on hand, so I chopped those up too. Buying a bag of mixed frozen veggies (corn, peas, carrots, whatever) actually works really nicely for this recipe if you’re in a rush.

Take the cooked bacon out of the pan and drain out -most- of the bacon grease. I left about a tablespoon, maybe a little less. Add sesame oil to the pan and toss in the garlic and all those veggies.

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Let the veggies cook until soft. The carrots will take the longest. At this size, it took about 10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Gently beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. Once the veggies are soft, push them to one side of the pan and add the eggs. Let them cook for 30 seconds or so and then stir to combine the veggies and eggs.

IMG_0166[1].JPGExcuse my bacon-grease splattered pan.

Once the eggs are incorporated, turn the heat off but leave the pan on the burner. Add the rice, bacon, soy sauce and sriracha.

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If you generally do not like spicy things, be gentle with the sriracha. It is HOT. And two tablespoons is not a small amount of hot sauce. Similarly, if you are sensitive to salt, be careful with the soy sauce. Add half of hot/salt and taste before adding the rest. I like heat and LOVE salt, so there you go.

Stir this concoction together, being sure to combine the rice and sauces really well. I have to stir very carefully – see how full the pan is? So much yum, the pan can barely handle it. Season with salt and pepper (or more hot sauce) to taste, and SERVE!

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Note the extra sriracha added for my husband’s benefit.

I like to serve this as a main dish. Mostly because I can never eat just one bowl and two bowls full of bacon, rice, eggs and veggies is actually quite filling. But it could easily be a side dish – and then you would have even more awesome leftovers!

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Upping My Brinner Game with Goat Cheese Grits

So. It’s been quite a while. I don’t even want to look at the date of my most recent post. I’m guessing… November 2015? About that time.

Well, what can I say? Life got busy. The holidays hit, then we were in full-steam-ahead mode on a kitchen renovation (we didn’t do it ourselves, though I’m AMAZED by those who do). It was a hectic few months – and then the work started. Three long weeks later, our kitchen went from a tiny box to a wide open beautiful space. See? img_0882img_0884Much better!

And so on and so forth. Until August, when life started to slow down again, and we decided to wreck the peace by getting a puppy. Classic. But look how cute!

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Also, please don’t judge the lawn. It, like this blog, is a work in progress.

Anyway. Busy, no? Sometimes dinner plans go awry and I need a new, quick idea. Enter: breakfast for dinner, a.k.a. brinner. Because who doesn’t like a nice glass of wine with a pancake? Typically brinner in our house is an egg or two, bacon and toast. Occasionally we do waffles. From now on, we will do goat cheese grits.

Grits are a really basic dish. Even more so when I use quick-cooking grits (5 minutes!). But they are quite bland without any additions. Cheese is usually the go-to and was certainly my choice a few nights ago. I happened to have goat cheese sitting around waiting to be eaten – which rarely happens, as goat cheese is delicious and should never “sit around” or “wait” to be eaten. Just eat it!

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Look at that cheesy goodness…

For a quick, quick brinner side dish, combine 1/2 cup grits with 2 cups of chicken broth (water works in a pinch, but broth helps jazz up the grits) and bring it to a simmer for FIVE short minutes. Don’t be like me, and let it boil over. Made a slight mess all over the stove. Oops.

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Stir in your cheese and any other toppings. I used green onions. Chives would also have been delicious, had I any chives on hand.

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Portion out and serve with your normal brinner staples!

YUM!

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