(Your next favorite killer comfort breakfast is good for you and has various tweaks for various diets…)
After a few years of On Food and Film (time sure flies!), it must now be obvious how much I love breakfast. Savory breakfast at least. Sure, I’ll eat a pancake or french toast if you shove it in front of me but otherwise, savory breakfast rules.
Well, then. Let me give you a savory comfort breakfast that will satisfy you completely. It’s also fairly healthy and can adapt to a variety of diets.
You see, along with loving breakfast, and chicken, and pasta, and salad, and… I love rice. I’ve mentioned that growing up Cajun the starch that was our staple was white rice not potatoes. Rice is a wonderful vessel for so many things… Gravy! Au jus! Red beans! Butter! Gumbo! Etouffee! When I was in grade school, I loved white rice topped with French’s Yellow Mustard (long story). Oh hell, I still do. But I even love rice all by its lonesome.
I also love fried rice. Once a week growing up in my hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, Mom, Dad, my brother David and I went to The Dragon Inn, a restaurant in downtown Port Arthur run by a wonderful man named Johnny. If you’ve seen the final scene of A Christmas Story, you know what Johnny and the restaurant were like, although The Dragon Inn was a long rectangle shooting in perpendicular fashion back from the street. It had a bar on one side and booths all along the other. Painted on the booth side wall, winding the length of the restaurant, was a single, very long Chinese dragon that enthralled me for years. Johnny is who hooked me on Mu Shu Pork, Sweet and Sour Pork, Beef with Snow Peas and amazing fried rice.
Back to breakfast: I’ve been working out early mornings as of late, with a terrific trainer named Ryan, who suggested the best time to eat carbs was after a hard workout. When he said, ‘You can even use white rice’ I lit up, given I’ve been avoiding rice lately trying to slim down. His suggestion was the only encouragement I needed and voila! Breakfast Fried Rice was born.
Click here for the recipe:
While I love this dish best with white rice, you can also use brown rice and even cauliflower rice if you are avoiding carbs completely. (The cauliflower version is a terrific Keto breakfast.) My good fried Rob actually prefers the cauliflower version over white rice, although it was he who remarked last week, when I made the white rice version yet again after we worked out, “This is incredible comfort food.”
Eat first. Thank me later.
BREAKFAST FRIED RICE – serves 2 (you can easily add more for more)
*NOTE: This recipe is just a guideline… for instance, use sausage instead of bacon, or if you are vegetarian, omit the meat. You can use a different chili pepper… though the Fresno chili is best here! You can use a variety of spices and herbs as well, depending on what you like. If you don’t like eggs (what???) omit. But give the original a try before branching out.
** ALSO: this is a very easy recipe. The instructions are long because I want to make sure everyone gets it the first time. But, seriously, this is easy. Once you do it two times, you will be doing it constantly with no thought at all.
Ingredients (see notes below)
4 strips bacon, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Fresno chili, diced (the seeds are the heat… use all or sparingly, depending)
1 cup cooked white rice (see note below)
cumin seed, a shake or two
salt and pepper
fresh chives (optional but necessary)
Avocado or guacamole (optional but so good)
Crème Fraîche (optional but oh my)
** Notes on ingredients:
– Red onion is best here but in a pinch, yellow or white is fine.
– Fresno chilis, which look like red Jalapeño chilis, are incredible… they have a kick but not quite the kick of a Jalapeño and the flavor is much better. If they are in season (as they are now!) grab them!
– Rice: cold, cooked white rice from the fridge works best as it crisps up better and creates more of a ‘fried rice’ feel. I make this so much I keep cooked white rice in my fridge. But if you don’t have any left over, freshly made rice works fine. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN THIS FOR RICE IN A PINCH : Trader Joe’s Frozen Jasmine Rice.
One cup is just a guide. I usually throw in whatever I have.
** Also, cooked brown rice or raw cauliflower rice work very well as a substitute.
– Heat your largest skillet over medium with a glug of olive oil. (Any skillet will work but the wider the skillet, the more surface plane you have to crisp up the rice.)
– Add the diced bacon and spread it around, stirring occasionally, until it is about halfway done, usually 5 minutes or so. I rarely get the bacon really crisp the way for this recipe, but feel free.
– Turn heat to medium low and add your diced red onion and Fresno chili. Mix well with the bacon and let saute’ until the vegetables are soft and the bacon is cooked some more. If you need a little more oil… add some butter!
– Season with a shake or two of cumin seed, and salt & pepper. Cook for a minute more.
– Turn heat to medium high and add your cooked rice (or uncooked Cauliflower rice)… Mix well, then spread the rice out as evenly as possible over the bottom of the skillet. This is why a larger skillet works better, to get as many grains of rice pushed flat to the bottom of the skillet as possible. Let cook over high heat a minute or two. Then stir it up and spread it out again. The rice should be getting a nice crisp, even a bit brown, on the side that is flat on the skillet. This is creating the ‘fried rice’ feel.
– While you cook the rice, fry your eggs in a separate skillet to you liking… sunny side up is of course the only way to eat fried eggs and makes the dish that much more wonderful when the yolk runs all over the rice… but make them to your liking… sigh.
* Important note: I confess, some lazy mornings I crack the eggs over the rice and cook them on top of the rice for the final two minutes. It doesn’t make for the most beautiful presentation. Still tastes great, though!
– When the eggs and rice are ready, divide the rice into two large bowls. Top with two eggs per bowl. I love to add sliced avocado, a dollop of my hot sauce, a spoonful of crème fraiche’ and some chopped chives.
Enjoy! This is awesome!