Monday, March 23, 2009

lamb and pepper fried brown rice

  • quart of cooked brown rice (take out works great)
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound of leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and bone and cut into bite sized pieces
  • fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • wok oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • tablespoons soy sauce (I had some leftover ginger soy so I combined it with regular)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • pinch of ground chili pepper

In a small bowl wisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin and chili pepper, set aside. Heat wok over highest flame you got for about 5 minutes. Add a swirl of wok oil and toss in the peppers stirring frequently, cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add another swirl of wok oil and add lamb, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until lamb appears fully cooked. Add another swirl of oil and add rice stirring mixture for additional 3 minutes, or longer if the rice was cold. Remove wok from heat and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Right before serving stir in mint and sauce into mixture.

The dish: My mother is a schoolteacher and as such growing up there was always a healthy emphasis placed upon reading. To this day I have a well worn library card and love to read books I would never want to own, but enjoy going through. The inspiration for this dish came from a book on Japanese pub cuisine (who knew such an animal existed), where it was done as more of a stir fry and without the same sauce and mint. The idea for the sauce came from mostly stuff I had lying around, you could omit a few things or just use a prepared wok sauce and be fine. Inspiration for the mint is also rooted in my upbringing; a few times a year my mom would make lamb chops and always serve them with mint jelly. I only eat lamb about once a year or so but have a hard time enjoying it without something mint, so I threw the fresh stuff in for good measure and it worked great, just be sure to add it at the last minute as the flavor quickly cooks off. In addition to learning, thrift was another virtue present in my childhood home and I'm proud to say that Hannaford has yellow and orange peppers on sale this week and I've already made two things using them, count on at least one more.

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