Let’s talk about leftover cooked rice. I’ve found it’s impossible to cook a pot of rice and not have some leftovers. Particularly when I’m cooking for a gang, it’s difficult to calculate who will eat what quantities. Monday may be the day that the 6-year-old will eat it all and ask for leftovers, but it could also be the day he decides to refuse the dinner point-blank.
Did you know that cooked rice when left at room temperature can cause food poisoning? This is something I’m very aware of when I cook too much rice or cook it in advance of making a dish like this fried rice dinner.
The trick when using leftover rice is to cool it down immediately once you’ve cooked it through. In this house it means rinsing the rice in ice-cold water for a few minutes until it’s cold. Then I pack it into a sandwich bag and put the rice into the fridge straight away. When reheating, the rice has to be cooked to a high temperature, which is why something like fried rice made in a wok or large pan fits the bill perfectly.
Because I use this rapid-cooling method for cooked rice I normally cook twice as much as I need when I put a pot on the hob to simmer. That way I can use the leftover rice for another dinner the following day, or maybe even a salad at lunchtime. The cooled rice can even be frozen immediately and used within about a month of cooking.
For a stronger flavour try replacing the regular paprika with smoked paprika – but be warned it is strong and for this recipe, because I am feeding the kids, the regular is just fine.
[recipe][recipe title=”Spanish Fried Rice With Turkey” servings=”5″ time=”30 mins” difficulty=”easy”]
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
- 250g of turkey breast sliced thinly
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into slices
- 1 cup of peas (frozen is grand just allow them to defrost)
- 250g cold cooked rice
Preheat a grill to a medium heat. In a large bowl combine the sunflower oil, paprika, garlic powder and onion salt. Pour half of the oil mixture into a large work or frying pan. Take the slices of turkey breast and coat them in remaining the oil mixture in the bowl. Once coated put the turkey breast slices onto a grill tray and pop under the preheated grill. Keep an eye on them during the rest of the cooking process.
Heat the wok to a medium heat. Do not allow the wok to smoke because you have a spice and oil mixture in the pan. If the wok gets too hot then the spices will burn. Once the oil has warmed through, add the pepper and carrots to the wok and stir around for about 4 minutes. We like our vegetables crunchy!
Pour the peas into the wok and stir until heated through. This will take about 2 minutes.
Add the rice to the wok by the spoonful the stir well. If you add it all at once you will rapidly cool the cooking temperature of the wok and the ingredients will stick and cook unevenly. Continue until all the rice is added to the wok and mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
At this point the turkey breast should be cooked.
Your stir fried rice is also cooked through so serve immediately!
This recipe is low in salt as it’s one of my aims this year. I’m trying, as much as I can, to limit the added salt in my recipes. Feel free to add more if you want to but less salt means it’s heart healthy!
Project one-foot-in-front-of-the-other is progressing nicely. Thanks everybody who got in contact after I posted my update last week. I’ll have another update at the beginning of February.