Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vegetarian Saffron Fried Rice

Last night, I finally perfected my vegetarian fried rice. I threw a surprise birthday party for David. David doesn't eat anything that flies or crawls on land, so I was limited to fish and vegetarian cuisine. I cooked up a whole mess of mussels (recipe to come), and my vegetarian fried rice. The food was delicious, the people were delicious, and I was asked if I would be willing to do cooking lessons.

Watch for the announcement for the new Fairy Chef Cooking Series coming your way next month.

Until then, here is the recipe for the Saffron Fried Rice.

Vegetarian Saffron Fried Rice

3 cups White or Brown Jasmine Rice
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 lb snow peas
1 large red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno
1 bunch of scallions
1/4 cup Brandon's Shut Your Mouth Hot Sauce (optional)
1 package button mushrooms
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 packets Sazon Goya con Azafran (Goya Seasoning with Saffron)

This recipe is a two step process. The first step is to cook the jasmine rice according to the instructions on the packet. My trick to ensuring that the rice is cooked perfectly is to use 1/2 cup LESS water than the cooking instructions recommend.

Cook your rice and then stick it in a tupperware container and put in the fridge for two hours. This cools the rice and ensures the rice will have a stronger texture when cooking (it keeps the rice firm instead of getting mushy).

Next dice your bell pepper into bite size pieces. Slice the button mushrooms length wise. Wash the snow peas. Set aside.

Mince the garlic, jalapeno, and scallions. Set aside.

Once the rice is chilled, heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or a wok. Peanut oil has a higher heat threshold before burning than regular vegetable oil and olive oil, and since we want the food to cook quickly at high heat using other types of oil is not recommended.

Throw the garlic, jalapeno, and scallions into the woke. Let them fry up (stirring them) for about five minutes. We want the strong flavor of the oil to be mellowed by the garlic, etc. Next, add the bell peppers, mushrooms and snow peas. Add the soy sauce at this point. Cook the vegetables until the mushrooms are almost wholly cooked. Add the Shut Your Mouth Sauce to the mix and stir for another minute.

Then add the jasmine rice. Stir the rice into the vegetables. Add the Goya seasoning. The rice will turn bright yellow at this point, make sure the entire mixture is thoroughly mixed together and the rice is heated to sizzling hot.

Shut down the heat and pull out a bowl and your appetite, cuz it's ready to eat. Salt to taste.

This fried rice was so good, I almost didn't get to eat any last night. And it was gone before anyone could get seconds. Though they sure did ask for some. This whole she-bang will set you back a grand total of about $6-$8. It feeds four people to fed 10 people just enough to tease 'em.

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