Developing this recipe uses the typical four-step Eron-approved Bachelor Chow™ method:
Step One — Start by poking around in the fridge, determine what produce is going to turn bad soon and set it on the counter.
Step two — Rummage in the cabinets and pull out whatever staples, such as rice, beans, canned tomatoes, broth, or pasta might compliment the produce and set them on the counter.
Step three — Dig around in the spices, condiments, hot peppers, garlic, herbs etc to flesh out the dish and set those things on the counter too.
Step Four — Repeat steps adding or subtracting ingredients from the pile on the counter until you have a dish that seems coherent.
I wish I was joking, but being a visual artist I'm also visual thinker, so this method of setting everything out helps me visualize the flavor and texture combinations. In this case, I realized that I had the right bits around to make a biryana-inspired fried rice dish.
Quick Indian-Fusion Fried Rice
1 pack saffron rice
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper (or 1/2 c. mixed sweet peppers), diced
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
2 tbs almonds, roughly sliced
1 tbs dried blueberries, cherries or raisins
1 tbs canola oil
1 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in to mixed halves and quarters
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
your favorite simple yogurt raita or chutney for a condiment
1) Cook rice according to the directions on the package. Let rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. (You can chop all your veggies while this is happening.)
2) Place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl with a decent pinch of salt and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain, reserving the tomatoes.
3) Once the rice is ready to use, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat then add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
4) Add the peppers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
5) Add and mix in the rice, chickpeas, almonds, cherry tomatoes and fry over high heat, stirring often for 2-3 minutes, or until the rice's texture seems a bit more firm.
6) Mix in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with raita or chutney on the table.
This would go together in a lovely fashion with a new beer I discovered called "Le Petite Prince" by Jester King. This is a very low ABV beer (2.9% ABV!) that is quite dry on the finish but is loaded with herb and grass anotes nd has hints of golden dried fruit flavors hiding throughout.