Thursday, May 13, 2010

Morphing Cinco de Mayo Leftovers

Remember that jewelry party I had on Cinco de Mayo? Remember the food? Oh, the food! Well I didn't have much in the way of leftovers other than the rice. Seems we kind of overestimated on that. Don't get me wrong; it was absolutely delicious. But I think that since everything else was finger food, it kind of got lost. So I had rice left over. What to do?

Inspiration! We had made a ham for Sunday dinner. I love ham fried rice. How good would it be if I made Ham Fried Arroz con Gandules? (Rice with Pigeon Peas, which really aren't peas at all! They are actually legumes; like lentils, kind of.)

Not to mention that when Chef Tony, Michelle and Camryn came into town on Saturday, we went to Costelos. Laura Lee (L3) and her mom, Linda met us there. Another great time was had by all. And I brought home beef empanadas and a bottle of that crazy good sauce! So I'm thinkin' I was set to go!

First I gathered my ingredients; eggs, onion, leftover rice, ham, canola oil and a smidge of butter. I began by chopping the onion into decent sized pieces. I wanted them in big enough pieces that you could see them and know what you were eating. Not huge chunks, but not minced either. Next I set about whipping the eggs like I was making scrambled eggs; but I didn't add any milk. I put a little canola oil and the butter into the pan. I let the egg begin to cook and then I kind of pushed it around with a spatula. When it was almost set, I removed it to a cutting board. I ran a knife through it both ways to cut it into pieces.

I then added a touch more oil to the pan and began to saute the onions. When the onions were soft but not translucent, I added the cold rice to the pan. At this point I was pretty much finished with the actual cooking. From here on in, I was going to be adding ingredients that are already cooked, and then I'd be marrying the whole bunch ... kind of like a hippie commune. (Did I really just say that?)

After I'd broken up all of the rice clumps and mixed it together with the onions, I just let it hang out a bit. I wanted to let it get all warm and cozy before I'd go adding anything else to the mix. I'd know when it was ready to continue. I began to smell the wonderful aroma of the warmed rice mixing with the onions. I gave it a good stir to make sure it was warmed completely through.

Now was the time to add the cubed ham and the egg that I cooked earlier. I mixed it all up really well. Again, I just let it do its thing. Every once in a while I gave it a good stir. When I thought it was ready, I speared myself a piece of ham and tested it. I wanted to make sure the ham was warmed through.

Here it is in all its beauty. Oh I could not wait to get my fork into that. But wait! There's more! Remember the beef empanadas I brought home? And that sexy Costelos sauce?

Ladies and gentlemen ... lunch!

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