Sunday, June 17, 2007
I was originally going to make a fried rice, but got inspired to make up a spicy saffron fried rice dish using ingredients I had in my pantry. I used basically the same technique for making fried rice, however I changed some of the seasonings.
You should use a long grained rice for this dish so that the grains will remain as separate when cooked. Use a generous pinch of saffron; the saffron is what dramatically colors this dish, so you shouldn't be too stingy with it.
I found this plate at Cookin, a vintage cooking store in San Francisco. This is a reproduction, from PillivuytApparently, restaurants used to print the menu on the plate. Unfortunately, this quaint practice stopped after WW2 because prices started to change so quickly that it became too costly to order more china.
- 1 cup Jasmine Rice
- a generous pinch of saffron threads
- 1 dried red chili, crushed into small pieces
- a few pinches of Meyer lemon zest (eureka lemons are okay too)
- 1 small strip of lemon rind, bitter pith cut off
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 eggs
- 1 minced stalk green garlic or similar combination of aromatics (e.g. scallions, garlic, chives, shallots)
- olive oil
- freshly ground salt, white pepper, and black pepper
Crumble saffron threads between fingers and soak in a small amount of hot water for 10 minutes to extract the color and flavor.
Wash rice. Add rice, saffron, crushed red chili, lemon zest & rind, and bay leaf into rice maker. Add water and cook as specified by your rice maker's instructions.
When the rice is cooked, remove the bay leaf and stir the rice to aerate. Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and add a bit of water. Heat some olive oil in a pan on medium. Add half of the minced garlic. When fragrant, quickly scramble eggs and pour into pan. Lower heat to medium low, and scramble the eggs while they cook. When the eggs are almost done cooking, remove them from the pan and place on a small plate on the side.
Return heat to medium and add more olive oil to pan. Saute the rest of the green garlic. When fragrant, add the rice. Season generously with salt and pepper. Saute until hot. After a few minutes, add the eggs. Stir to combine and serve.