Monday, November 19, 2007

Autumn Fried Rice

It's finally starting to feel like fall around here. I keep waiting for it to drop below 40 degrees during the day, then I remember I am no longer in Illinois...
With the sweet butternut squash and nutty zucchini, this just
tastes like autumn. The garbanzo beans were a last minute addition and I must say they're a keeper. Makes alot... be sure to bust out your trusty wok.

Serves 4
25 (rice) + 40 minutes
-large, sharp cutting knife
-stainless steel wok

2 cups pre-cooked brown rice (slightly undercooked)

1/2 of a large butternut squash
1 large stripped zucchini (I don't know the name.. it's a green zucchini squash with prominent ridges and a 'marbled' greenish-white coloring.. check out the picture; I found mine at the farmer's market)
1 medium white onion
5 cloves garlic
2 + 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
sea salt
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes (-or- a small bundle of fresh parsley, chopped)
1 (14 oz.) can garbanzo beans*
1 to 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
*S&W Fine foods garbanzo beans are GF; Bush's and DelMonte garbanzo beans should also be GF.

0. Prepare brown rice as directed on package to make 2 cups cooked rice. However, use slightly less water and shave about 5 minutes off of the regular cooking time. This will help the rice to not become mushy when stir-fried. Place rice aside once done (in the fridge is best).
1. Wash off the butternut squash. I found my squash very very hard to cut (I didn't even try peeling with a normal peeler). Be sure to use a large, sharp knife and cut the squash in half right above the 'bowl' part (into two smaller 'cylinders'); place the top into the fridge for another day. 2. Scoop out the seeds and innards. Carefully slice off the outer skin while the vegetable is sitting upright like a bowl. Once the squash is crudely 'peeled' and gutted, cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Set cubes aside.
3. Wash and cut the striped, ridged zucchini squash into 1/2 inch slices. Half or quarter each slice. Place the zucchini with the butternut pieces. Coarsely cut up the white onion into about 1/2 inch squares. Set onion apart from the squash/zucchini. Peel and dice up the garlic cloves. Place garlic cloves directly into you seasoned wok.
4. Add 2 Tbsp. peanut oil to the wok. Stir the garlic cloves and begin cooking over medium-high heat. Once the garlic pieces begin to tan (should take between 3 to 5 minutes), add in the zucchini and butternut pieces. Stir to mix well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add in the white onion pieces. Stir well. Also season generously with white pepper, sea salt, thyme leaves and parsley. Stir well, again. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the butternut squash/zucchini pieces are tender (you might need a bit more time for the squash and zucchini). Toss and stir well while cooking. Add in a little more oil if you think it's necessary to keep things from sticking and burning.
6. Open and drain a can of garbanzo beans, add to contents of the wok. Stir well and heat through, an additional 3 minutes.
7. Once heated, spoon in the prepared rice. Pour an additional 1 Tbsp. peanut oil over the rice, then stir well, breaking up any rice clumps and incorporating it thoroughly with the veggies. Heat the rice through, slightly browning (stir-frying) the grains-- for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let the rice burn, though, keep stirring.
8. When rice is golden and steamy, remove from the heat and splash with a little red wine vinegar (taste it to see how much you want.. it's good with the nutty zucchini and garbanzo beans). Serve warm.

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