Cooks with attitude

I’ve started reading Chuck Wendig’s blog at Terrible Minds. If you don’t know who Chuck Wendig is, start here.

He’s a very funny guy and a good writer. And I love his recipe style. Here’s an excerpt from his recent blog post on cooking:


Our Chinese food place gives you a whole container of rice for every dish you order, and that usually means we end up with enough leftover rice to choke a bear. But I don’t want to choke a bear. I like bears. So, instead I try to use the rice in a variety of ways, chief among them is fried rice, which I just mistyped as “friend rice.” Which sounds nice until you realize it might be a Soylent Green thing? Whatever. But for breakfast, I do a different thing with the rice, and this is that different thing —

Skillet on medium-high heat. Toss in there the OIL OF YOUR CHOICE, which here I recommend either unrefined coconut oil (nice coconutty taste) or butter. Why butter? Because butter.

Then, take a bunch of rice and dump it in. How much? Jesus, I dunno. How do you measure rice? By the fistful? One FIST OF RICE. There. The goal of this is you want the rice to get cooked on the bottom but stay somewhat pillowy-ricey on top. Spread it out. Think: layer.

While that’s cooking, lay a slice or two — broken up — of melty cheese atop the rice. Again, I will recommend to you Cooper Cheese for this vital task.

Now, to the eggs.

I do this two ways, depending on my druthers. The fuck is a druther, anyway? It sounds like the last name of a nosy neighbor in an old sitcom. “Oh, no, here comes our landlord, Mister Druthers, again — careful, or he’s going to figure out that one of us roommates is actually a haunted mannequin!”

First way is, scramble the fuck out of it. Then, when you feel the rice is sufficiently ready, you use your spatula and get that eggy scramble into the rice. Give it a stir, keep stirring, don’t let it scramble too much, and then put it on a bowl.

But, I find the second way a bit more satisfying.

I make two nests — two egg craters, you might say — in the rice. Like a fish swooping out the riverbed to lay its future fishchildren. Then put in a little more fat in those culinary rice pockets, and crack an egg into each. Let it cook a bit, then flip each yolk. Once they firm up a little bit, so that they’re starting to get jammy (jammy is one of those food words that I find enticing when used appropriately, so like, with caramelized onions, or egg yolks, but not, say, tuna fish). Then break the jammy yolks, stir them into the rice, and serve.

The cheese should be melty. The rice will be both soft and chewy. The eggs will incorporate throughout, a kind of ricey-eggy-custardy pillow. I use a little sweet soy sauce (buy it separate or make your own with soy, mirin, bit of vinegar, bit of sugar, garlic, ginger). I sometimes use Penzey’s Fox Point or Shallot Pepper too to finish. You can do other stuff to dress this up, too: start with onion, garlic, ginger. Maybe add in a dash of sesame oil. Greens go well here, too, like spinach or bok choy. Shit, this would probably taste good speckled with lawn clippings and eaten out of an old shoebox.

It’s delightful.

I like a little entertainment and attitude with my recipes. Wendig’s the guy.

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