The end-of-the-year holidays countdown is upon us : home, work, family, family, friends, neighbors and all those lists of extra things that need to get done today, tomorrow, next week, in 3 weeks, maybe sooner or maybe later ! So here’s a customized & international dish whose ingredients can be prepared in advance and then heated and assembled 10 minutes before serving, leaving you with some free time for all that holiday spirit stuff !
Some dishes are more of an assembly than a complicated preparation and they are a necessity during the weeks preceding the end of the year festivities, and are probably useful to know beforehand, for any leftovers that need to be used up, immediately after and in between the holidays period too.
Egg fried rice is typically a wonderful and satisfying Asian dish, also called Chinese fried rice or Cantonese fried rice. I fondly remember Vivienne’s mom’s version that we enjoyed so much in university, when my friend would bring a tupperware of it to school in Ottawa ! Over the past decades, many countries and cultures on other continents have reinterpreted and adapted this preparation by using their own more local ingredients.
This Spanish reinterpretation of this dish requires rice, ideally prepared the day before, eggs, some vegetables, usually peas, scallions, carrots, garlic and then a combination of cured meats, whether sausages or hams, in this case, chorizo sausage and salted pork belly cubes. And for an additional Spanish touch, just like with “paella”, mixed seafood is added in too, such as small shrimps, mussels, octopus and squid. With a little sprinkling of parsley and coriander leaves and why not a pinch of saffron too.
Another particularity is the use of marmite, which is a very British fermented yeast extract spread that is a salty, syrupy, vegetarian spread that I often use to flavor sauces and broths and which replaces more traditional miso pastes and soy sauces, making this dish very European, in addition to being Mediterranean.
Rice is something I don’t master. I’m only successful in making it correctly only half of the time. But preparing it the day before makes it easier to start over if necessary, so you can have fluffy and non-sticky or non-mushy rice for this dish, because it would be a pity to sacrifice the other ingredients for a failed rice preparation. You may be better and more experienced at making rice than I am, so feel free to use your own methods but try to not overcook it, and preferably, you should undercook it by a few minutes, since it will be fried and reheated later.
I hope this dish proves to be a time-saver for you, because whether you’re busy writing and sending off cards, choosing and buying gifts or preparing holiday treats and meals, or at least pondering it, please remember that if you run out of time or give up and simply decide that you can’t be bothered with all that anymore, then understand that it will become easier for others too, to decide not to be bothered either. How sad that would be indeed.
Happy December organization and preparations to all of you and by the way, I’m going to make enough of this dish for at least 4 more servings for the busy work week ahead … :)