What do they say – that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Most days at Rock Bottom breakfast is a banana and a piece of sourdough toast, or some homemade yogurt with a little maple or honey on top and an apple – and coffee (though I have switched to black tea mostly, saving my coffee for a cold afternoon cup – my body likes it that way better). My favorite ‘weekday’ breakfast is toast with kimchi and an egg but cheese bagels (sometimes with an egg and wild greens) are a close second. We are terrible parents, our child generally starts with something absolutely inappropriate like ice cream or cake or pirate puffs but then quickly makes up for it with all the same bits we eat (to be fair, she eats the majority of her calories in small meals through the day ending around 4pm, and we don’t believe in ‘dessert’ for our child – I’m not interested in giving her sweet bits before bed, defeats the purpose of some alone time – ha!).
But sometimes we go all out on breakfasts – Josh and Duende make amazing scones (of course), and biscuits (sometimes with honey and jam and bacon, sometimes with gravy and eggs), and pancakes (D has her own special recipe that makes perfect yummy pancakes – and I’m not generally a big pancake fan and I like these!). For special holidays (like my birthday) I love French Toast (Josh made it one year with peanut butter inside – so delicious, I love peanut butter) and now we have the stovetop waffle maker – yay Waffles!
And then there are always leftover breakfasts – which are really my favorites. Leftover roasted potatoes/sweet potato gratin/roasted veggies of any kind or mushrooms or extra greens all become hash when chopped small and sprinkled liberally with salt and fresh ground pepper and served with eggs and avocado. Leftover mashed potatoes mixed with an egg and a little flour, maybe shredded cheddar and greens, become potato pancakes when sauteed in butter with a little oil. Last night’s spaghetti gets mixed with eggs and shredded cheese and whatever leftovers sound good (a little of the sauce and a meatball left, some leftover chicken, that lonely forgotten green pepper chopped up) mixed and baked into a pasta frittata. And my absolute preference is for leftover rice, I have all these oddball things on hand (that’s the kind of gal I am, and I highly recommend if you are in the Portland area – Sun Market on Congress – a lovely family business) but feel free to substitute your own favorite additions and alter the amounts based on what you have. It’s got a lot of bits but comes together quickly and deliciously.
Breakfast Fried Rice
3 cups cooked cold Rice (you can make fresh but it really does work better cold)
1 heaping Tbsp lard/bacon fat/ghee/high point oil (maybe more for later additions)
1 cup chopped something green (a quick fix for me is frozen broccoli florets, but fresh will work, or spinach/chard/dandelion/kale/mizuna/tatsoi/baby bok, green pepper, etc)
1-2 Med-Large Carrots, scrubbed and sliced angled on a bias/julienned
big handful (maybe 1 1/2 cups) frozen Shrimp (or any leftover meat or tofu) (optional)
2 tsp Sesame Seed
2 tsp chopped Garlic (or just smash 2 cloves and chuck them in)
2 tsp diced fresh ginger
1-2 eggs (depending on how much protein you need/people you are feeding)
Splash of Soy Sauce (I’m a Bragg’s Amino Acids gal), more for seasoning later
Sprinkle of Chinese 5-Spice Powder
Dried Red Hot Chili to taste (optional)
drizzle of Sesame Oil
Kimchi as topping (optional)
Heat fat in a big frying pan (I tend not to use the cast iron as cooked rice is a job to soak out) over Med-High heat. Add cold rice and stir until coated. Add garlic, ginger, sesame seed stirring often until fragrant. Add carrots (moving to the bottom if you can). Cook each addition 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli or other greenery and shrimp/other meaty bits – if using frozen, I generally bury under hot rice and add a splash of soy sauce (can cover for a minute or two and steam in, if you like).
Then – here’s the fun bit: make a circle in the middle of the rice, clearing a space, add a little more fat and crack your eggs into the circle – scramble quickly in the space adding a splash of soy sauce and as the eggs set start mixing them into the rest of the rice mix until dispersed throughout. Take pan off the heat, sprinkle the top with 5-spice, cover and let sit a few minutes (This helps the flavors develop and the rice steam from the bottom of the pan). Stir in spice and drizzle with sesame oil.
How I do it: not everyone likes the hot and spicy, so I break up a dry red chili into the bottom of my bowl and ladle the fried rice on top, then stir it up a bit, adding a nice little cold yummy pile of kimchi on top. I find it very addictive and will likely have it for lunch the same day, too. Hopefully, you will dig it just as much.