Tuesday, September 18, 2012

RECIPE - Left-over Rice (Arroz de lambiragem)

Since the vast majority of Brazilians eat rice every day, usually at the mid-day meal, it's not uncommon for there to be some rice left over when the family stands up from the table at the end of the meal. No one, especially a Brazilian home cook, wants to run out of rice in the middle of a meal, so the temptation is to cook just a little bit more than what a cook estimates will be eaten during a meal.

If the left-over rice is a small quantity, it can be thrown out or composted, but if there's a significant quantity, it's usually put away for eating at a later time. At least in frugal Brazilian kitchens it is. Brazilians strongly believe that it's a crime (if not a sin) to throw away good food. Perhaps this is a relic of Brazil's past, when poverty meant that people sometimes starved to death, or perhaps it's just that it's just good Brazilian common sense not to waste food. Whatever the reason, from time to time there will be left-over rice in the fridge, ready to be re-used and recycled.

So what do Brazilian cooks do with this rice? This recipe, from São Paulo chef Carlos Ribeiro, is a restaurant-style reimagining of a traditional Brazilian way to serve left-over rice. In the recipe, rice is combined with whatever other left-overs might be on hand and fried in the style of Asian fried rice. It make perfect economic and ecologic sense to empty the refrigerator of all left-overs, and it makes great culinary sense, as the dish is tasty, satisfying and filling.

A recipe such as this one is a framework for creating a dish, not a step-by-step gastronomic manual. Therefore, there are no quantities given and all ingredients (except rice) are optional.
RECIPE - Left-over Rice (Arroz de Lambiragem)

cooked rice, white or brown
whole eggs, lightly beaten
neutral vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
left-overs of the day (meat, chicken, fish, potatoes), cut into bite-sized pieces
ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
onions, chopped
olives, pitted and chopped
In a large frying pan, combine the oil and butter and heat until the butter is melted and the oil is hot. Add the eggs and cook without stirring until done. Remove from the pan, rip into strips and reserve.

Add all the other ingredients except the rice to the pan. Cook and stir for a minute or two, then add the rice and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the rice is very hot. Mix in the reserved egg, season for salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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    PS You have probably been busy but it would be great if you followed Carole's Chatter back.

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