In true Jessica fashion, I have a new favorite meal.
No shock value there, as my favorite meals come obnoxiously often but this one… it’s a winner. It’s such a winner that both nights I ate it? It didn’t even require dessert.
I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I had dessert for lunch, but that’s besides the point.
Um, speaking of dessert. Guess who was up making chocolate chip cookies at 1AM on Saturday night? Hint: it wasn’t me.
It was the other person in this house who has never baked a thing in his life.
He really wanted cookies for dessert. He didn’t tell me until close to midnight when we were laying in bed and I guess he couldn’t stop thinking about them. He started pitching a mini fit that we were cookie-less and the next thing I know he is out of bed, downstairs and banging stuff around.
We were almost out of flour. Barely had any brown sugar. I don’t even think he knew where the baking soda was located. Apparently he just started throwing stuff in a bowl and mixing it together. And praying.
I was in and out of sleep but from my warm and cozy bed upstairs, I could smell fresh baked cookies at points. Maybe I was just dreaming? Eventually I fell into a deep slumber… which is no surprise since I had the bed to myself. Favoritest thing ever: bed to myself.
I don’t think the cookies worked out. Er, well, I know they didn’t because I saw them in the trash this morning. He said they tasted awful so to make him feel better, I bought three pints of ice cream with his name all over them. Lesson learned: have some homemade cookie dough prepped in the freezer for emergencies.
And! The whole point of that was after his failed cookie attempt, he ate some of this fried rice from the fridge before coming back to bed. If it’s good enough for middle-of-the-night snackage, it’s good enough for anything.
A few months ago I made this pineapple cashew fried rice that I just totally loved. The ease and simplicity is what sells me on a dish like that and I’ve been making versions of it ever since. Two of my other favorites also served as inspiration here; this sesame chicken quinoa and Thai chicken quinoa. They’re all responsible for the hot mess that is going on in this bowl.
Occasionally I make a meal that I can’t stop thinking about – a meal that I want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A meal that I ACTUALLY eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This is one of those. It wasn’t anything overly special, besides the fact that it was incredibly simple and just tasted… good. Really good. It tasted great cold, reheated and every which way around. It’s a meal for me, a side for him… but that’s to be expected.
I kinda sorta really like it. Lots.
30 Minute Mushroom Fried Brown Rice
Yield: serves 2 to 4
Total Time: 30 minutes
4 tablespoons olive oil
16 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups cooked + cooled brown rice
2 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the mushrooms and toss to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and place them (and any juice) in a bowl. Increase the heat to medium and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the beaten egg and cook, using a spatula the entire time to stir and break the egg into pieces. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside in a bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Add in the rice and stir well to coat. Spread it into one layer and cook until it's toasted and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes, then flip it and do the same one or two more times. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the mushrooms (and a little of the juice if desired) back into the rice along with the eggs. Stir well to coat. Stir in the sesame seeds and green onions, reduce the heat to low and cook until everything is warm and has come together. Taste and season additionally if needed - this will depend on your soy sauce. Serve immediately.
Almost as good as cookies. Almost.