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SAFFRON FRIED RICE

Evelyn's Kitchen by Evelyn S. BunoanBy Evelyn S. Bunoan
There are countless alternative choices in cooking rice. My one vegetarian version is proven good and guaranteed delicious. I prefer freshly cooked rice, rather than leftover rice, in preparing my saffron fried rice. Try my original recipe which I frequently serve my family and guests. You, too, will taste the excitement.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

2 cups Jasmine rice, washed and drained

2 cups water

4 teaspoons saffron, divided into 2 teaspoons each

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 large eggs

1 red onion, tiny diced

1 carrot, diced (1/4”)

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup red bell pepper, tiny diced

Chef’s Tip: Wash rice gently with single or both hands using the swirling method. This way, you do not crush the grains. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Rinsing removes excess starch.

Cooking Methods:

1. Combine rice, water and 2 teaspoons saffron and cook in a rice cooker. If you do not have a rice cooker, use a large sauce pan and bring the rice to a boil without cover. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and let cook until the rice has absorbed the water and it is tender to the bite. Fluff up grains and leave the rice in the rice cooker in the warm setting. If using a stove top, leave it there at the lowest setting until needed.

2. Heat enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan (non-stick preferred), and fry the rice for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some saffron on the rice and season with salt and pepper. When cooked, sprinkle some dried parsley and transfer to a large container (mixing bowl or deep casserole).

3. Wipe clean the same frying pan with paper towel and heat a little vegetable oil and scramble the eggs for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat and chop the eggs into small pieces with the rice paddle. Season with salt and pepper, and pour into the hot fried rice.

4. Again wipe clean the same frying pan and heat enough vegetable oil and stir fry the rest of the vegetables for 2 minutes, adding the red bell pepper in the last few seconds of cooking. Season with salt and pepper, and pour into the hot fried rice.

5. Mix the saffron fried rice gently with a rice paddle to blend all the ingredients. Transfer enough saffron rice to a serving platter and serve while freshly made. Note: Saffron rice can be refrigerated up to 2 days and reheated.

Tips for Halloween:

Now that Halloween is coming, some people would like to look different during their Trick or Treat-ing adventure. I have a recipe for face paint, safe for little children and teens.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon cold cream

2-4 drops of food coloring

Mix the first 3 ingredients until you get a paste. Add the color of your choice. If you need three different colors, divide the paste into three portions in different containers, and mix in the food coloring that you want.

To remove the face paint, just wash with soap and water.

Editor’s note: Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 30 years of service to the Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia; (703)528-0300; Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, food stylist, cake designer, and culinary writer; kitchen-tested and mastered more than 400 recipes, and counting. Member of International Cake Exploration Societe. Host of the cooking show – “Evelyn’s Kitchen – Cooking with Friends”.

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