Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Recipe: Mexican Fried Rice with Pickled Chiles

I know it's been ages since I made a recipe post on Curio. My main focus, no pun intended, for the last number of month was getting my portfolio from my Flaneur project ready for Foto Fest Houston. Fear not, gentle reader, I have been spending plenty of time in the kitchen! Primarily, my focus has been on bashing against fine-tuning some of my fundamentals. I've cooked through the entire chicken section of Patricia Wells's "Bistro" and have tried to expand my range of comfort with South East Asian foods and mexican cuisine. I've also been perfecting the art of making coffee and have learned how to make homemade pasta! 

This recipe was something that I developed while on Google chat with Callie. I had a steak left over from a BBQ that I had to dodge out of early for work purposes, and knew I wanted to cook it fairly naked and serve it with a side of Rick Bayless's Salsa Picante that I had aging in my fridge (http://gavanmurphy.com/salsa-picante-de-chile-de-arbol-hot-sauce/). But I needed a side dish to compliment the rich meat and potent red sauce. Thankfully I had set aside some leftover rice to make kimchi fried rich for lunch and decided to Chego-ize together a side of Mexican fried rice that had subtle garlic, seed and pickled chile notes. 

As a variation, you could include some leftover shredded braised pork shoulder or some-such and top it with a fried egg to make this dish a meal! 

Mexican Fried Rice (Serves 2)

1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp pickled chopped jalapeno (+more for garnish)
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
6 good green olives, seeded and sliced (+more for garnish)
1 tbs pepitas, toasted (+more for garnish)
2 cups day-old rice, crumbled
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro or parsley (+more for garnish)
2 tbs fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1) Heat olive oil of medium-high heat until fragrant but not smoking. 

2) Add garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Then add onion and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. (Yes, aim for slightly undercooking the onion on this recipe. You want the onions to still have a bit of bite and crunchy texture.)

3) Add the olive slices and toasted pepitas. Cook for 60 seconds, stirring. 

4) Add the day-old rice (really, this works a million times better with old rice) by crumbling it with your fingers to separate the grains. Cook, stirring to make sure the rice is evenly fried and all the other ingredients are incorporated — about 2-3 minutes. 

5) Add lime juice and cilantro/parsley and stir for 30 seconds.

6) Remove from heat and scoop on to the plates or bowls. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkling of the herbs, toasted pepitas, olives, and if you want more heat (the dish, as is, should be tangy, but with very little heat) a couple thin slices of pickled chiles. 

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