We nurture and comfort with the only way we know. We feed the family. I did not feel like cooking today so I took stock of the leftovers we had. With a heavy heart, I opened the refrigerator. There was the good old adobo dish from last week. And there was our dinner staple – day old rice. I just knew that if I put them together it would result in a big, bowl of Adobo Garlic Fried Rice – because food is the perfect healing agent of love.
I am left with no words to say. The entire media world is flooded with news and photos of the bombings in Boston. I am bereft and feel a terrible sadness within me. There is a part of me that wants to do something, to help, to heal, to say kind words to the families who are in pain right now.
It is hard to fathom why a terrible bombing tragedy has to destroy lives at a sports event that is meant to unify us. In time I know we will have answers. But today there are too many images that are painful to watch, unbearable to hear. You cannot even look away. The media is plastered with the news. Can we tune out? We probably can for a few minutes. But the family needs to be fed, nourished and soothed. We will be alright. “Boston will overcome,” the mayor said in the news today. Yes, so will the rest of us.
Meanwhile, I’m at a loss for words. I can only offer kind thoughts, prayers and a reassuring recipe for something easy today. In times like these, the simplest dishes can provide the best comfort, like a warm hug from a dear friend.
Chicken-Pork Adobo Garlic Fried Rice
- large skillet or wok
- 1 cup shredded pieces chicken and pork adobo, in slim slivers
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided, use half for garlic fried rice
- 2 to 3 cups day-old cooked white rice, previously refrigerated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
- Prepare adobo by taking some leftovers and shredding them into thin slivers, about 1 to 2 inches in length. Use a sharp knife if needed for uniform shredded slices, whether working with chicken or pork adobo. Drain shredded slices on paper towels to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
- Over medium high heat, using a large, heavy stainless steel skillet, add the ¼ cup cooking oil. Heat oil to about 350 to 375 F (if measuring with a deep fat frying thermometer). If you have no thermometer, it will take approximately 5 to 6 minutes on medium high heat. The cooking oil must be the right temperature – not lukewarm or nearly burning. If not, the adobo flakes will not be crisp enough.
- When the cooking oil is hot enough, add the shredded adobo flakes. Pan fry to a crisp for about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from pan and drain on parchment or wax paper. Fry adobo in two batches so it can get crisp. Set aside. Discard half of the cooking oil from skillet, leaving only about 1/8 cup to cook garlic rice.
- Using the same skillet, lower heat to medium-low, tilt the skillet to swirl the remaining 1/8 cup cooking oil around. Add the minced garlic and press the pieces slightly with a flat turner to flavor the oil. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the day-old cooked rice to the skillet with garlic. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over. Mix rice well so the garlic-flavored oil coats all the grains. Blend well for about a minute. Toss in the crisp adobo flakes and spread all around the garlic rice. Serve hot for brunch or dinner.
- Cook’s comments: This is a versatile rice dish and can be served with sunny side eggs, vegetables or any entrée desired. Use leftovers available for the garlic fried rice even if they are not adobo-flavored – it will be just as superb.