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Today: What to make when Mother Hubbard's cupboard is basically empty.
Fried rice can be a lifesaver. It’s what's for dinner when there’s nothing left in the cupboard and you just can’t bear take out again.
Take heart -- this minimalist fried rice dish from Jean-Georges Vongerichten is substantial enough to fill you up but not so heavy that it weighs you (or your spirits) down. It also comes together more quickly than the time it would take a delivery guy to make it to your house -- you'll even have time to make dessert (the kind you can deal with on a weeknight). Poured over ice cream, Miso-Caramel Sauce is the perfect way to reward yourself for having eaten in.
Here's how to make it:
Start with the miso caramel sauce: In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, mix 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Be careful not to slosh the sugar around in the pot -- you want to avoid any rogue sugar crystals from forming on the sides. If you have any, use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pot. Cook to a deep golden brown color. When wisps of smoke just start to come off the surface of the mixture, remove the pan from the heat.
Carefully pour in the cream -- this will cause a lot of bubbling. Stir to combine. If the caramel hardens and gets chunky, put the pot back over low heat, stirring, to melt the caramel until smooth and liquid again. Whisk in the miso. Allow to cool and set aside for later.
Make the fried rice: In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the peanut oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until crisp and brown, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ginger and garlic to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain; salt lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add two more tablespoons of oil and the leeks. Cook until tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt, then raise the heat to medium and add your rice. Cook until heated through, stirring well. Season with salt to taste.
In a nonstick skillet, fry the eggs sunny-side-up in the remaining oil until the edges are set, but the yolks are still runny. Divide your rice into bowls and top each with an egg. Drizzle the rice with the sesame oil and soy sauce, then garnish with the crispy ginger and garlic.
When you’re ready for dessert, gently heat the caramel over low heat on the stove or put some in a small ramekin to warm in the microwave. Pour the sauce over your favorite ice cream, and enjoy!
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Serves about 4
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons white miso
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
4 cups cooked rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pint of your favorite ice cream
You probably already have soy sauce and sugar in your pantry, but if you don't, stock up on them as well.