Everyday Mom's Meals: Even More Take Out At Home

Monday, March 10, 2014

Even More Take Out At Home

So...we aren't having the best of luck when it comes to our favorite Chinese restaurants here in town. Let me explain. We live next to a shopping plaza, and we were lucky enough to fall in love with a Chinese buffet that went in a few years back. Fortune Buffet was a tasty, budget friendly place for us to take our little "big eater" to fill him up. But even more than we enjoyed their buffet, we loved zipping over there for their take-out. They were one of the few buffets in town that when you ordered it to-go, they made it fresh and just didn't get it off the buffet. And oh, could they make some tasty food! In fact, we said on multiple occasions we enjoyed their take-out more than the buffet. Well, here about 6 months ago, a sign went up on the door that they were "finding a new location." Evidently they never did, because they haven't opened again any where we can find, and we miss them.

So then, last summer a place went in called The Paper Lantern. It was actually a family owned business specializing in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Mr. Everyday actually tried them first, raved about them, went in so many times for lunch that he became a regular and got to know the owners, and then turned little man and I on to them too. They were super inexpensive, and had tasty, traditional food. We loved it!

Well, about a month ago, we were sitting here one evening when a news alert came on saying a fire had broke out at a Fort Wayne restaurant, and due to the extremely cold temps and winds, fire fighters were having a hard time getting in under control. Sadly, it was The Paper Lantern, and the entire thing was destroyed. Nothing left. It was so incredibly sad to watch and see the aftermath. The couple that owned it is completely devastated and while they hope to rebuild, aren't sure if they can go through it again. I guess only time will tell.

Now, with those back stories, you can understand why I've been pretty desperate to recreate some of our favorite Chinese foods in my own kitchen. This one happens to be the hubby's favorite. When ordering Chinese take-out, 9 times out of 10, this is what he would order.

Honestly, I never knew it could be so easy to make at home. But this could be a weeknight supper with no trouble at all! The most important thing to remember is you want to use pre-cooked rice! It makes for the best fried rice. I think the best way to do it is to make the rice the night before, put in the fridge over night and when it's time for supper, you're off to a good start!

I told my husband we have to stop raving about restaurants we love, because we seem to be a bit of bad luck. But until we find another place we love as much as we did these two, at least we can still enjoy favorites at home!

Shrimp Fried Rice
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen small 60/80 ct. , tail off, shrimp, thawed
4 c. pre-cooked brown rice (see note below)
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen peas and carrots
3 green onions, chopped on a bias
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 TBS oil, divided
3 eggs, beaten
2 TBS soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl toss shrimp, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Heat a very large skillet on high heat. Add 1 TBS oil and swirl to coat pan. Add shrimp, and move around so they aren't overlapping. Do NOT move for 30 seconds and allow to fry. Flip over and fry for another 30 seconds, until almost cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible. Turn heat to medium. Add eggs, stirring very quickly to scramble. When eggs are almost done, dish out and add to plate with shrimp. Wipe skillet out and return to high heat. Coat with other 1 TBS oil and saute green onions about 15 seconds. Add rice and stir well to mix. Allow the rice to cook untouched for 1-2 minutes until a sizzle is heard. Toss the rice to cook on all sides. Add 1 TBS soy sauce and stir well. Add shrimp, peas and carrots and eggs back in to finish cooking. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add another 1 TBS soy sauce, mix and serve hot. *NOTE* I find the best rice to use is made 24 hours ahead of time, and chilled in fridge.

Shared on The Country Cook Mar. 14, 2014

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