April 19, 2015

Confetti Fried (Brown) Rice

Last week, I wrote about my daughter's first foray into solid food. Today, my son asked, "What was your first food?"

I had no idea. My parents probably don't even know, though they were and are prolific home cooks. Everybody did jars for babies back then.

But his question got me thinking about other kinds of "first foods," like the first food I ate after coming home from the hospital with my second newborn: this rice.

It was early October, and I'd spent the last two days in a hospital room, staring at our beautiful new human while eating bagels and steam-table vegetables and just the worst lentil soup ever. (Please!)

Finally we were home and happy, and Nova slept agreeably while I raided the refrigerator for homemade, leftover fried rice. It was delicious even cold, colorful and subtle with its touch of soy sauce and sesame oil, its sweet onions and friendly corn and peas. I'd made it a day or so before giving birth, and now felt like I was jabbing a fork into an artifact from another world.

While I always like to pair something main-dishy with a vegetable side, this is one of those recipes that's chock full of enough nutritious, varied bits (vegetables, eggs, whole grains) that you can get away with serving it as a "one pot meal" in a pinch. I certainly got away with it that day, eating my leftovers standing inside an archipelago of yet-to-be-unpacked hospital bags. The ultimate pinch.

It's a good memory and I wouldn't change it; still, when you make this rice, try it warm, and at the table.


Confetti Fried (Brown) Rice
Serves 4

1 cup (uncooked) brown rice
1 small sweet onion, chopped small
2-3 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 eggs
2 Tbls. butter
1 Tbls. tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbls. chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse, drain, and cook rice, then cool it completely, preferably overnight.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and fry the onion and shredded carrot together until both are soft and sweet, about ten minutes.

Add the cooked and cooled rice, peas, corn, tamari, and sesame oil. Toss and fry the rice briefly until flavors combine.

In a separate, nonstick skillet, make a plain omelet from the eggs. Slide the omelet onto a plate and cut it into small rectangles.

Toss the egg with the rice, taste, and add more tamari to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.

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