Cleaning Out the Fridge Fried Rice

I don't know about you, but it's been pretty low-key around these parts. I'm kind of on a half-vacation, doing a little bit of work each day, but also taking time to run errands, watch movies, experiment in the kitchen, do some year-end organization, and finish up those Christmas cards (oh never mind that Christmas was 4 days ago). This has also translated to low-key easy meals. Sauteed shrimp over a pile of salad, seared tilapia, slices of leftover ham served with a big jumble of roasted veggies. Easy cozy dinners that also help to balance out the handfuls of chocolate and peppermint bark I've been snacking on near-daily.

One of the best things I've made these past few days, has been fried rice. It's a great way to use up those leftover bits of turkey or ham from Christmas dinner, or to clear out any veggies that have been sitting in the fridge. It takes minutes, is incredibly forgiving, and can be adapted to your taste.

Did you ever see the movie (or read the book), The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio? It stars Julianne Moore as a mom in the 1950s who supports her poor family (and no-good drunk of a husband) by entering (and winning) lots of contests held by companies and supermarkets writing slogans and jingles for the brands.

It's a very good movie (and book), which I really recommend, but one of my favorite jingles she comes up with is one where she makes a big sandwich filled with lots of leftovers an calls it her "frisk the Frigidaire, clean the cupboard bare sandwich." When Eugene and I saw that movie, we spent DAYS singing that little jingle over again, and I still sing it whenever I make a dish like this one.

The version you see in the photo here was made with bacon and just a little bit of turkey, but definitely feel free to improvise and use what you have one hand--shrimp, ham, turkey, chicken, even just veggies, would be perfect in this. This is DEFINITELY a "frisk the Frigidaire, clean the cupboard bare...fried rice." 

An easy, cozy one-bowl meal, just right for this easy, cozy time of year.

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Cleaning Out the Fridge Fried Rice

Olive oil (or sesame oil, if you have it)
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup cold cooked meat such as chicken, ham, turkey, shrimp, or vegetables cut into small pieces
3 cups cold cooked rice (leftover take-out rice works perfectly here!)
3 eggs, whisked
Soy sauce
1/3 cup scallions, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper


Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to render and get crisp (about 3 minutes). Add the diced onions and cook for 2 more minutes until translucent, but not caramelized or browned. Add the meat or vegetables and saute for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook until toasted and heated through, stirring every 2 minutes to make sure all sides get toasted.

Use a spoon to push the rice out to the sides and create a well in the center of the pan. Pour in the eggs and scramble, then pull in the rice and vegetables.

Add about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and the scallions, stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. 

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