Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ham and pineapple fried rice

Ham, ham, everywhere, and yet another bite (make that numerous bites) to eat.

What do you do with two adults and enough Easter ham for eight? Besides having ham and eggs; or ham, cheese and egg muffin sandwiches; ham omelettes; grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, or ham salad (or deviled ham) sandwiches, one of my favorite ways to use leftover ham is to make pineapple fried rice.

First I take the enormous hunk of leftover ham, cut some into pieces, some into slices, then divide the pieces into piles that are enough for a batch of fried rice (or omelettes or whatever), and bag the piles. I also bag the slices in quantities that are the right amount for a meal for my hubby, me and the three kids. Whatever I don't plan to use right away can go into the freezer for the next month. That way, we aren't eating ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next three days.

(You might also like: Homemade Tofu and Sweet and Sour Chops.)
Please jump for recipe.

I don't have a wok, so I use a 12-inch nonstick skillet that is 2 1/2 inches deep. That is barely big enough for this recipe.

Pineapple Fried Rice
Serves 4 to 6

1 Tablespoon oil (canola or peanut oil)
2 eggs, beaten

1 Tablespoon oil, optional
4 or 5 scallions, chopped (or 2 shallots, chopped)
2 cloves garlic, smashed with back of knife
1 cup carrots, julienned or chopped*
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
1 cup ham pieces (or 3 lap chang sausages, sliced)**
4 cups leftover rice***
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
3 to 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok or deep 12-inch skillet. Cook beaten eggs as if making an omelette without filling. Remove cooked egg to a plate or cutting board and cut into slices. Set aside.

2. Add scallions, garlic, carrots and ginger to the same wok or skillet and cook over medium heat until carrots begin to soften, adding a bit of oil if needed. Add ham pieces, combining with carrot mixture and heating through.

3. Add rice and break up with wooden spoon or spatula, combining with ham and carrots. Add pineapple, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and the oyster sauce and mix into rice. Taste for seasoning (depending on how salty the ham or sausage is) and add more soy sauce if desired.

4. Mix in the frozen peas and sliced egg and cover for one minute.

*You can use bell peppers or another vegetable if you don't like or don't have carrots handy. Or skip the carrots and use 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables instead of the frozen peas.

**I normally use Chinese lap chang sausage in place of ham. You can also use shrimp or leftover roast pork loin or skip the meat altogether. If not using meat, I sometimes increase the eggs to 3 or 4.

***This recipe works better with leftover rice that has been sitting in the fridge at least overnight. Freshly made rice tends to be a little too sticky.

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