Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cooking from the Pantry, Part II: Ginger Fried Rice (and Boulder Farms)

I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap. Our third bedroom is fast become a staging ground for our impending move, which is less than 2 weeks away (eek). I'm trying to get as much done as possible. This way, when my husband gets here, we can do some hiking in the mountains and head over to the farms near Boulder. Of course there are tons of things to do in the city as well (like a date night at the retro- Lakeside Amusement Park , the Sunnyside Music Festival and 'Now Boarding' at the Denver Art Museum), but sometimes I like to hit the road and get out of town. 
This morning I got a little bit of packing done and then we spent the rest of the day outside --this weather is absolutely spectacular. You can feel it; fall is just around the corner. That, my friends, makes me downright giddy. The cooler nights are wonderful, and while the sun is still really strong during the day, we now have a respite from the oppressive heat of June and July. Those heat waves seem to be behind us. (And hopefully those wildfires too.) This weather gives me a serious case of perma-smile. 
So, we went back to Boulder for a little hike and to check out a few farms that we had never visited. Our first stop was Cure Organic Farm, which has a great farm store. I picked up some wonderful looking produce (included in today's bounty: tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, beets, peaches, carrots, and leeks)...
...and then we fed the pigs and saw the ducks.
I  have to tell you (and this might sound strange coming from an vegetarian who grew up in a kosher home), but I totally love pigs. There was a little part of me that wanted to take one of these guys home, but I think that we've got enough on our plate right now...and I'm not sure a) how keen the farm would be to give us one of their porcine friends, and b) how keen my husband would be having a pig roaming around our backyard...
I though about asking if the pigs had names, but then decided not to. That's because the last time I was on a farm and asked, "What's the pig's name?" the response was "Bacon Bits." I was horrified. I've learned it's better not to ask questions if you don't really want to hear the answers. 
We read David Wiesner's "Three Pigs" almost every night, so Otis was really excited about these guys, um, gals. 
Our second stop was Munson Farm, right across the street from the Cure Farm. There I picked up white corn, Palisade Peaches, and some watermelons that looked like perfectly shaped bowling balls. There were also Zinnia flower beds that were "cut your own." 
When we got back to the house I decided to do a little cooking. A new restaurant called Uncle opened in the Highlands and, according to Eater, it's "Momofuku-esque." Reading the review got me thinking about a Momofukufor2 recipe I had seen for Ginger Fried Rice (adapted from Mark Bittman). I had pinned it on my recipe board a while ago, but never got around to making it. So last night I cooked up some rice, since the recipe calls for day-old rice. I had the rest of the ingredients on hand (either in the fridge or the pantry) and included my recent farm purchases-- eggs and leeks. 
I thought this recipe would work well as an installation for my "Cooking From the Pantry" series-- where I try to use up ingredients from the cupboard-- in this case, rice. 
I think I'll be making this one again and again. It's tasty and simple. So here it is:
Ginger Fried Rice Recipe (Courtesy of Momofukufor2 blog, adapted from Mark Bittman at the nytimes.com, adapted from Jean-George Vongerichten.)
Serves 2
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
2 cups day-old cooked rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil (or maybe even just 1 so it's not too oily) and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among two dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and enjoy hot.

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  1. oooh i love pigs too! i have wanted one for so long, but my boyfriend eats meat and told me if we had a pig he was going to feed him bacon! i guess no piggie for me. that fried rice looks great. I actually have been making my own fried rice too! i recently made it for a post on my blog i hope to post soon

  2. Haha. That's just wrong :) No piggie for you! I'll be looking forward to your post. I love fried rice!

  3. Piggie are awesome! Those neat lil hooves and intelligent eyes! The rice with egg looks deeeeevine!