Weeknight Shorts: The Anytime Meal Helper

When I'm not sure what to make for dinner and I don't have a lot of time to spare, my go-to meal is fried rice. It's a great way to use leftovers, it comes together quickly, and everyone in my home loves it. But sometimes I'm looking for something a little different. Fortunately, fried rice can do that too:

That's my breakfast-for-dinner fried rice option. My favorite morning meal items like eggs and bacon make it a fun dish to serve anytime of the day. But, like normal fried rice, lots of veggies also end up in it. This time around, onions, peppers, tomatillos, and cherry tomatoes make the cut … but that's merely because that was what I had on hand. Hearty greens like spinach or kale would be equally at home and leftover roasted root vegetables (think potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even radishes) would give it a decidedly autumn feel. For me, the rule is keep it simple. I like to use what I have on hand.

Since this dish has a breakfast feel to it, feel free to serve it with fresh fruit and orange juice. Yeah, you can even do that if it's evening. This is the best kind of fusion cuisine — the kind that says there are no rules to follow to make it delicious. You don't even have to use chopsticks!

Breakfast Fried Rice

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 c. cooked, cooled rice
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tomatillo, cleaned and sliced into wedges
  • 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

In a large, nonstick skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. When the bacon is nearly done, add the onions and pepper and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, which should take about as much time as it does to finish cooking the bacon.

Carefully sprinkle the cold rice evenly over the pan. Break it apart with your fingers if needed. Using a wooden spatula or similar utensil, stir the rice in wide strokes, allowing all of the rice to make contact with the bottom of the pan in turn. This will cover the rice in bacon fat and allow it to fry as needed. When the rice has been crisped in this way, make a hollow area in the center of the pan and gently crack the eggs into it. Scramble the eggs to your liking and then stir the scrambled eggs into the rest of the dish. Add the tomatillos at this point and stir them well to warm them.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve the rice topped with the cherry tomatoes and hot sauce, if desired.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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