Special Fried Rice

My favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, pretty much summarizes my feelings when it comes to Rachael Ray:

I have no doubt I’m opening a can of worms here, but I really don’t see the point of the classic foodie hobby, Rachael Ray Bashing. Sure, her voice is unnecessarily loud, and it makes you wonder why her supposedly caring producers wouldn’t tell her to cut back on all the yelling; of course, the (trademarked) EVOO is hideously annoying; and yeah, that FHM photo shoot was, at best, a pathetic cry for attention, but in the kitchen? The 30-minute meals? How did these become the enemy?

Yes, her knife skills are lacking, but guess what? So are mine. Yes, she relies a bit on pre-processed ingredients, but I’ve got no beef with canned tomatoes, beans and frozen peas when you are short on time. Yes, she lacks finesse but hello! I’m a big as a dork as anyone, and yet you are still here. To be honest, I often parallel her cooking to Oprah’s Book Club. (At the rate she’s earning, she’ll be as loaded as Oprah in a couple years, which is what I suspect is actually what irks people.) For the most part, the books aren’t to my taste but I won’t begrudge a woman who got thousands of Americans back into reading. In the realm of food, I can think of more worthy nightmares to dump on (ahem).

I’ve actually never seen her cooking show.  The only time I’ve seen her on television is when I saw the last fifteen minutes of her travel show when she visited Boston.  Her dishes aren’t always (or even usually) to my liking, but about once or twice a year, I make one of her recipes on a weeknight and I really enjoy it.  Last week was one of those times.  

Rachael Ray has a recipe for Vegetarian Fried Rice that I think is really tasty and easy — and it’s one of those quick recipes that mostly uses ingredients that I already have on hand.  I like to be generous in the amount of vegetables that I throw in to make it more nutritious.  I also like to be generous in the amount of fresh ginger that I throw in because ginger is just so good.  When I made it for dinner most recently, I served it with Chung’s Vegetarian Egg Rolls (frozen), which were surprisingly decent.  It’s a great recipe for lunch leftovers and it actually does take less than 30 minutes.  So, without further ado, here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, sesame or wok oil, 3 turns of the pan
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce section, a couple of handfuls
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup Tamari, dark aged soy sauce

Bring water to a boil.  Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Spread rice out on a cookie sheet to quick cool it.  (I normally skip that last step…)

Heat a wok, wok shaped skillet or large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add oil to the pan. Add egg to hot oil and break into small bits as it scrambles.  When eggs are scrambled, add garlic and ginger to the pan. Add carrots, pepper, scallions to the pan and quick stir-fry veggies 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and combine with veggies.  Fry rice with veggies 2 or 3 minutes.  Add peas and soy sauce to the rice and stir fry 1 minute more, then serve.

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