Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fried Rice Confessions: What I eat when no one's watching

Mark Bittman eats oatmeal with scallions and soy sauce.

My friend Ali, a self proclaimed “food snob,” used to mash up frozen blackberries into a soupy “sorbet,” and would eat bowls of cucumbers dredged in balsamic vinegar in college.

My own mother – the woman who taught me how to bake perfect cookies, brown chicken and churn out a cauldron of Italian meatballs – has been known to eat avocados with cottage cheese for lunch, and Fritos with Hidden Valley ranch dip for a devilish snack.

Everybody – even renowned “foodies” – seems to have at least one specialty or secret indulgence that others would probably find repulsive. This past summer, cookbook author Deborah Madison even published a book about it entitled, What We Eat When We Eat Alone that detailed the mundane, bizarre and often over-the-top meals that people will prepare for themselves when dining solo.

While I generally believe that everything I eat is delicious and that other people would be crazy not to agree, there is a reason that I don’t share every recipe I make for myself on my blog. And not just because I fear retaliation if I post about another quinoa dish that I can’t stop eating. Some of the things I make myself for dinner are actually kind of… well, weird. Especially when it’s the end of the week and I’m trying to clean out my produce crisper before my broccoli goes bad. Again.

I concocted this recipe for “fried rice” (I use quotes because fried rice traditionalists are about to claw their eyes out) last Thursday to do just that – use up my rapidly wilting vegetables. I didn’t think I’d like it so much that I’d end up making it again for dinner on Tuesday night. And I certainly didn’t think I’d ever let it see the light of day on my blog.

I can imagine the horrified reactions already.

“She roasted vegetables to put in fried rice?!?”

“She didn’t use day-old rice?!”

And, “How dare she substitute edamame for peas? Someone get this girl a psychiatrist!”

But I’m okay with the horrified reactions. Mark Bittman puts soy sauce in his oatmeal. And today, Diana Takes a Bite puts orange zest in her fried rice.

Roasted Vegetable and Edamame Fried Rice w/ Orange Zest and Ginger
Serves 1

¼ cup brown basmati rice (uncooked) prepared Saveur-style
1/3 cup cooked shelled edamame
1 egg
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ - 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange blossom honey (may use regular honey)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2 tablespoons toasted cashews
Olive oil

Prepare rice according to Saveur instructions. Set aside.

Roast broccoli florets and green beans in oven safe dish at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Feel free to toss in olive oil first, but mine roast fine without it.

Meanwhile, combine orange zest, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes (to taste) in a small dish. Whisk together with a fork.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and saute until shallots are translucent – approximately 5 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in the ginger. Cook together a minute, then remove. Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to hot pan and then crack the egg in. Scramble until just done, then add the rice, shallot, garlic, ginger, cooked edamame, and roasted vegetables to the pan. Stir to combine before pouring in the soy-vinegar-honey-zest mixture. Once sauce has been integrated into the rice, serve immediately. Top with toasted cashews.


Esi said...

You're a funny lady, but hey, whatever works for you!! :)

Anna A. said...

This is something you would TOTALLY do TALF

Alessandra said...

I still eat cucumbers drenched in vinegar. However, I now use 18-year-old balsamic instead the supermarket brand, which I think makes my habit a little less shameful!

Julia said...

What I eat when no one is looking: cottage cheese DRENCHED in maple syrup. Just in case you were wondering ;)

weezermonkey said...

I used to eat pancakes and waffles with Chinese dried shredded pork.

Diana said...

Esi - I bet it would work for you too if you tried it! ;)

Anna - Haha, I feel like I should take a bow. Yes, it is definitely a D Takes a B original. ;)

Ali - I love that you are still the girl I fell in love with in college - a food snob who doesn't share and who still eats vinegary cucumbers and chicken noodle soup.

Julia - I'm speechless. And maybe a little impressed. ;)

Marie said...

I just got What We Eat When We Eat Alone from the library! Haven't started it yet, but am looking forward. I find this kind of secret info (with or without orange zest :P) so fascinating!

Ashley said...

What I want to know is what you *really* eat when you're alone. This recipe doesn't feel so out of the ordinary here! Def not something to be ashamed of.

lynn @ the actors diet said...

i eat so much "gross" stuff - not even when i'm alone.

Jenn said...

Hey ain't nothing wrong with peas and roasted veggies and non day-old rice. I do something similar sometimes. Though mine only has a bunch of garlic in it. Mmmm...Garlic breath. :)

Diana said...

Weez - I can see that. Like chicken and waffles! Only with pork. ;)

Marie - Let me know if you like it! I'm always looking for a new book to read. Especially books about food.

Ashley - You know what I eat when I'm alone - peanut butter oatmeal and Amy's frozen pizzas. Yumolicious. :) :) :)

Lynn - Haha, now you have me intrigued... what's your grossest thing?

Jenn - I actually LIKE garlic breath.

Kung Food Panda said...

Brown Rice, Edamame, honey, oh my! :P