Submitted by LindaYou won't be surprised to hear that Chef Michelle was appalled when I told her I bought this cookbook. Actually, I don't think it qualifies as a legitimate cookbook, since it is not written by any of her usual suspects, like Mario, Ina, Giada or Julia. But let me say that I have won her praise before with my less-than-gourmet fare, and I will attempt to do it again, next time she's in town.
This 'cookbook' is copycat versions of 'everyone's best-loved food', and the recipes are created by the author so that folks can save money and eat healthier by making their favorite restaurant dishes at home.
When I made Orange Chinese Beef recently, Nick asked if I would try the copycat recipe in the book for the Benihana Fried Rice. The recipe looked just like the way the knive-wielding-teppan-chefs do it at Benihana, except the big hunk of butter was missing from the recipe. We added some, despite the "eat healthier" claim in the book.
Let me say that it was every bit as yummy as the restaurant version, so good in fact, that Nick made it again a couple of days later (at 2 a.m.) when he was 'having a craving'.
Benihana Japanese Fried Rice
From Ron Douglas' America's Most Wanted Recipes
Serves 4 (unless you have Nick at your table - then you should double it!)
1 1/4 cups uncooked short-grain Japanese white rice
Soybean oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 finely diced green onions
1/2 frozen peas, thawed (I did not include these, because I am not a fan of peas)
1 medium carrot, finely grated
4 teaspoons soy sauce
salt and pepper
1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Once done, empty into a mixing bowl.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Scramble the eggs into small pieces until cooked. Empty the scrambled eggs into the bowl with the rice and stir together.
3. Using the same pan, add additional oil, the diced green onions, the peas, and the carrot. Let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add several scoops of the cooled rice and egg mixture to the skillet. Keep gradually adding a scoop at a time and keep stirring. (I added some butter at this point).
5 .While mixing, slowly add the soy sauce a teaspoon at a time until the fried rice is golden brown in color.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.