Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fried Brown Rice

This recipe evolved from one that Em found online for me in response to my comment about my garden brocollini. The basic recipe was bacon and brocollini, stir fried in olive oil. It was delicious.

Over several successive goes, each time with the addition of more ingredients, it turned into this: Fried Brown Rice.

2 cups brown rice (uncooked)
2 onions (medium sized)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups diced roast pumpkin
1 cup diced roast red pepper
1 cup diced roast eggplant
1 large bunch brocollini (or 1 brocolli head)
Olive oil (several tablespoons)
1 cup mixed beans
1/2 cup corn


First soak the dried beans. I had a mix of chickpea, red kidney, borlotti and lima.

Then roast the pumpkin. To cheat, I sliced it into thin (1/2 inch) wedges and sat them upright in a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top then sprinkle with whole cumin seeds. It didn't need salt.
And roast the eggplant and red pepper for about 20 minutes in a hot oven (180'C / 350'F). I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the slices. The eggplant is sliced lengthways, each slice is about 1/4 inch thick.
While the vegetables are roasting put the 2 cups of brown rice, with 5 cups of water, into the rice cooker.
When the rice is cooked, let it cool. When the roast vegetables are cooked, take them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Because my brocollini is growing in the garden, I headed outside to pick some.
Don't they make a pretty bouquet?
Back in the kitchen, I fired up the burner, poured in about a tablespoon of olive oil and tossed in the onion (chopped) and garlic (minced).
When the onion was soft, but not brown, I added the paprika. As this will be a vegetarian dish, the smoked paprika adds a nice smoky, barbeque flavour.
When that's softened, but not burned (don't leave this alone and don't let it cook too long otherwise the paprika will burn), add the brocollini (or brocolli). I roughly cut the brocollini with scissors, flowers and all. Even the narrower stems are edible.
 Next I roughly chop (or food process) the roast red pepper and eggplant. I have a small food processor so I did mine in batches.
Add the eggplant and red pepper to the vegetable mixture.
Next I added the beans and corn. All of that is mixed around.
The vegetable mixture is now done and can be moved to a large enough bowl to accommodate the vegetables, all of the rice and still allow room for the mixture to be combined. Or use a large cooking pot, which is what I did.

I then lightly fried the rice in olive oil. I used about a tablespoon of olive oil each time and divided the rice into three batches. Stir frying time was brief, only a few minutes, just to bring out the nutty flavour and to dry the rice a little. It didn't really brown it that much.
When each batch of rice is ready, add it to the vegetable mixture and mix with a large spoon to combine. 

Remember that the pumpkin hasn't been added yet. I left it until last because I didn't want the soft pumpkin to be mushed in with the rest of the mix. I roughly chopped the roast pumpkin, after removing the skin (I just sliced around that and dumped it in the compost), then added that to the rice/vegetable mixture.
The mixture distributed evenly across five containers, which I labelled and put into the freezer.
Each is a complete meal, which can be boosted with the addition of protein, but if eaten on its own then each cost $0.71 to make. Not bad, huh!?  :-)