Weeknight Fried Rice
It’s always good to have some cooked rice hanging around in the refrigerator or freezer, because you can make this dinner with it anytime you like. (Chilling the rice helps separate the grains during stir-frying.)
Frozen diced vegetables
Any meat or tofu
Start with cooked rice, white or brown, a cup or so per person, made fresh and chilled or pulled from the freezer, where you keep some in a plastic bag against the promise of just such an exercise. Also helpful, also in the freezer: bags of diced organic vegetables you can get at the market (the mixed corn, carrots, and peas number, for instance). For the rest, assemble meat, if you eat meat, or tofu; a couple of whisked eggs; about a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger; and some scallions. You can make a sauce from soy sauce and sesame oil (about a 3:1 ratio) and fire it up with a teaspoon or two of gochujang. You’ll need a little less than a quarter cup of sauce to cook for four.
To the wok! Crank the heat, add a little oil, and toss in a handful of chopped meat or tofu. After it crisps, fish it from the pan and set on a plate. Add the garlic and ginger and a handful of chopped scallions. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, then add those frozen vegetables. More stir-frying. Return the meat to the wok. Stir-fry. Clear a space in the center of the wok and add the eggs, cooking them quickly to softness. Throw in the sauce, then the rice, and mix it all together until it’s steaming hot. Finish with more chopped scallions. Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos
There’s no one better at the midweek miracle meal than my friend and colleague Melissa Clark, who turned me on to this gem of a recipe. It’s best with chicken thighs, ideally the skinless, boneless variety—though skin and bones are fine. So are breasts. So are turkey thighs, for that matter.
Season a chicken with salt and pepper, then put it in the pressure cooker pot with some chopped tomatoes and a seeded diced jalapeño. Add a tablespoon of chile powder, a little ground cumin, some smoked paprika, and a splash of water. Set the machine to high pressure for 14 minutes, manual release, and then shred the meat back into the sauce and serve with warm tortillas, grated cheese, and whatever else you like.
Copyright © 2021 by Sam Sifton. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.