I got home from work and a couple of stops on the way, at around 8:00. I was hungry, but not starved. My daughter agreed she wasn't all that hungry, but she would have a little of whatever I made. I walked over to the refrigerator to see what I had to work with......
Leftover jasmine rice with almonds
a zucchini that was almost on it's last legs
Half a bag of cooked shrimp
Corn on the cob
half of a vidalia onion
Sounds like slim pickins', right? No. This has to be one of my favorite ways to cook! I have to make something out of nothing. I see my version of fried rice..... so here goes.
I begin by dumping the leftover rice into my favorite big skillet, along with a drizzle of olive oil. As that is heating, I beat one egg and drizzle it into the hot rice. After the egg had cooked, I cut up the zucchini and add that.
In a smaller pan, saute the chopped vidalia onion and the corn that I cut off of the cob. Into the rice it goes.
So, I look in the pan and I see the rice, onion, corn, zucchini, and the almonds. The only ingredient missing is the protein. I was originally thinking about adding some cut up deli sliced ham I had on hand, but once I saw the shrimp in the fridge, that was it! I cut the tails off and cut them into pieces. In they went.
Now comes the challenging (fun) part.... the flavors. The Jasmine rice has a delightful sweetness to it, which is great, but I needed something to make a statement. Garlic? no. Crushed red pepper? no. Then it hit me. Soy sauce, and sesame oil. Who knew? A drizzle of the oil, a bunch of shakes of the soy sauce, stir it all up, and taste. I needed to add a bit more soy sauce, but in the end, it was delicious!
So, here's the best part of all. I spooned some into a bowl, added some cut up scallions, and a spoonful of French's French Fried Onions (for the crunch).
Here's what my daughter (the one who really didn't want to eat much) said:
"It was a perfect combination of crunchy and Asian-y flavor, and the shrimp was a wonderful addition to the flavorful sauce. I would say I was slapped in the face with flavor, in a good way!" Can you tell she watches The Food Channel? She ended up eating 2 bowlfuls...
I really love to create a meal without any recipe, measurements, or fore thought. It's almost like The Cooking Channel show "Chopped" where they are given a basket of ingredients and have to come up with a dish to "wow" the judges. I think I wowed my daughter tonight, and I hope I have wowed you too!