CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Definitely Not Made in China

image But it worked! My plan was to try to find more rice-based dishes that would successfully store and, so I came up with the idea to try special fried rice, since only the rice would need cooking in advance (which it does anyway, whether you're going to store it or not), to later be quickly fried with the other ingredients.

By frying, I mean, tossed around in a minuscule amount of olive oil, so this hardly counts as bad frying. This was successful and it performed exactly as you would want it to. I'd expected it would, since you can buy this combination already prepared and frozen, but doing it yourself is cheaper and you stay in better control over what additives there might be in the "final product."

Wanting to find more rice dishes was an aim, because, along with cereals, pasta and bread, this is the food group in the pyramid that we're allowed more of in a healthy, balanced diet. Besides that, rice dishes make a change from yet another of the eminently freezer-suitable stew-type dishes. Always great, but too many similar dishes would make for a very dull menu.

The decidedly non-Chinese ingredient here, of course, being the slices of chorizo I used, since I wasn't able to get the Chinese barbecued pork that is "essential" to this dish if pedantically following the traditional recipe.

You may be able to get the right thing, substitute cooked ham, or use whatever else you like that you have available and that's suitable to add flavor. We can call this Spanish "invasion" into Chinese cuisine a "fair exchange" since  so many things in Spain these days, products, souvenirs, etc., are Made in China. It became a joke and there was once even a comedy show, also named, in English, "Made in China" shown on Spanish TV.

For my four portions of Remixed Special Fried Rice:

  1. Eight tablespoons of rice, boiled in the usual way, drained thoroughly, cooled and separated into four portions ready to store.
  2. One onion (a few shallots would be better, but I've never seen them here), chopped finely and separated into the four portions.
  3. A small bag of frozen, cooked, peeled prawns or shrimp, separated into the four portions.
  4. A generous handful of frozen peas, separated into the four portions.
  5. A small piece of Chinese barbecued pork (or other suitable meat), diced and separated into the four portions.
  6. Four eggs, for later frying.
  7. Soy sauce to serve.

The portions can then be frozen separately until you wish to eat the dish.

All you have to do at the last minute is fry it all together (a wok works best). When it's nearly ready (a couple of minutes), beat one egg in a bowl and add that to the pan, stir until the egg is set to your taste. Douse with soy sauce. Eat. And, whether this is a case of being Bicultural, or confused, or something ..., I'm not the only one to push through the international barriers with the Spanish national sausage, as Ben Curtis writes:

"It only occurred to me halfway through my dinner that I might have a split personality thing going on. Left alone for the evening I didn’t rustle up a very British Bangers and Mash but, instead, and without a second thought, prepared myself Chorizo sausage in white wine ... and mash! Nothing wrong with a good bit of Chorizo al Vino, but with mashed potato?"
You know, it also occurred to me that maybe the reason why men (and strange women like me) like playing in the kitchen, is because it's like a giant chemistry set for grown-ups. Only this time, instead of just making smells and explosions, you get to eat the results of the weird experiments. Sometimes you still get the smells and explosions, but other times they surprise you and work! Surprised

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