Duck Confit Fried Rice...and some links

Hello weekend and hopefully some down time!

It’s been a wringer of a week and next week looks to be more of the same so I’m hoping the weekend will bring me a spot of lounging around…even if it’s just a couple of hours with a good book and a chocolate croissant. 

I’ve decided that, aside from the big goals that I’ve set in the beginning of January, I will set small goals every week.  These don’t have to be, in fact shouldn’t be, too involved or difficult to do.  The point of it all is doing, or at least starting, something new every week – something manageable that will at once bring me some measure of joy and fulfillment, while simultaneously give me the satisfaction of “achieving” something (that is much simpler than tackling a “big goal”).  It can be anything from “clean out the night table drawer” to “eat something I’ve never tried before”.

So…last week I decided my little goal would be --- read a book that is not about food.  I’ve realized with a start that every book I have read for the past couple of months has been, in one way or the other, about food.  No surprise, but I think my horizons are due for some broadening.  I looked at my bookshelf and spotted this gem that my younger brother had thrust into my hands many moons ago.  I dusted it off and am now elbow-deep in a different universe.  All I can say is, thank goodness for shiny, well-intentioned resolutions and geeky younger brothers. 

And speaking of well-intentioned resolutions, I am continuing my fight against food waste by making short work of my leftovers.  One of my favorite ways to do that is through fried rice.  You can make fried rice with absolutely (almost) any leftover.  You don’t even need rice to do it – you can use any grain that needs using up (quinoa, barley, buckwheat groats).  I’m sharing one of my leftovers / fried rice incarnations here.  But first, since that’s not really a recipe, I think some nice links are in order to tide us over for the weekend :)

** The latest local website/blog I am loving – the happy lab.  With a name name like that how could I not? 

** Now that the little one has discovered the joys of chocolate I can’t wait to do this with her…bread bunnies

** A lovely video of my husband’s hometown…same place where he proposed to me!

** Need to try this soon…I haven’t had a traditional, old-school pan de sal in too long.

** Happinessis truly an inside job!  It’s in our reach and in our control…let’s get to it

** Now for some fried rice using leftover duck confit and things I already had in the fridge/freezer/pantry: Shred the leftover duck confit.  Fry in some olive oil until crisp around the edges.  Remove from the pan and caramelize sliced onions with a dash of balsamic vinegar and thyme (dried is fine if that’s all you’ve got).  Add chopped dates and walnuts, orange zest, cinnamon and cumin.  Add the rice.  Season to taste with sea salt.  Fry until the rice absorbs all the flavors.  Take off the heat and add chopped fresh parsley.

I loved this combination.  The crispy fatty duck with the sweet dates and walnuts all bound together by a flavor that you don't quite know where to place (although somewhere in the middle of Morocco and France might work).  The important thing to remember with fried rice is to work with what you have, and match your flavors with your leftovers.  The possibilities are endless!

I am sure you don’t need a recipe for each and every dish of odds and ends that turns into fried rice, but just to illustrate and inspire you to breath new life into your own leftovers I’ll be posting my leftovers fried rice dishes on Instagramwith the cheeky tag #500daysoffriedrice.  I’m also posting any and all revamped leftovers under #fightfoodwaste.  If you are so inclined, you can follow me on Instagram @chichajo.  And if you’d like to share your own fried rice and other leftover ideas feel free to use the tags #500daysoffriedrice and #fightfoodwaste and make sure to tag me – maybe I’ll do a round up of all your posts over here!

If you are interested in my weekly resolutions I’ll be posting them on my News section on the right, and tweeting them as well every Monday.  So if you’d like to know my trivial goings-on you can follow me on Twitter at @80breakfasts :)

Now go have a fantastic weekend!