Mary Berry’s Malay Rice

I became a huge fan of Mary Berry when I was introduced to her on the Great British Baking show, when she and Paul Hollywood were judges. More recently, we enjoyed her shows available on those channels you buy by monthly subscription. In particular, Mary Berry Classics.

Most food shows I watch, I watch purely as entertainment. I might tsk at the overuse of a garlic press, or scoff at how TV producers define “easy” as something that requires a large shopping list, and two hours of food prep.

Mary Berry Classics had me scrambling for a piece of paper and pen to take notes and jot a few recipes down. More importantly, it got me motivated to try them!

The first recipe I tried, her take on a Spanish tortilla, was a huge success. I am not writing about it today because we ate the entire egg dish without a thought of taking a photo of it. No proof, so it didn’t happen.

The Malay Rice dish was an equal success. This time I remembered to take a photo, however, the picture shown is the left overs so doesn’t have the crowning jewel of a soft cooked fried egg sitting on top. You will just need to use your imagination for that.

Using Mary’s favourite catchphrases, this dish was a “bit of alright” and “tempting”. She uses this recipe to summon her husband in from whatever corner of the garden he might be in. I can see why. It is aromatic with the onion, garlic and Asian spices. Once I got this going on the stove top, Michael was sniffing around the kitchen pretty quick too.

Here’s what you need for this easy recipe:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs because that’s what I had in the freezer)

1 – 2 tsp honey

1 large onion, diced

1 red pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 6 because I can). Mary is a huge advocate for the garlic press. I get by by squishing the garlic with the flat side of my knife, sprinkling with a bit of salt, and keep working it until the desired crushed-ness. If I get fed up with squishing the garlic, I just chop it to smithereens. I’ll do anything to avoid having to wash a garlic press, even if it means I have to expend 10x more energy than I would if I relented and used a garlic press. It’s a thing.

200 grams mushrooms, sliced or chopped, white or brown

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp curry powder. Mary recommends mild, I used medium.

** I went a bit off-roading here, and also added a generous spoonful of coriander and tumeric to the spice blend.

250g long grain rice (I use jasmine scented), cooked and chilled

150g frozen peas

Eggs (1 per person)

4 tbsp soy sauce

Olive Oil for cooking the chicken and veg (about 1 – 2 tbsp)

Salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD:

Fry up the chicken in a bit of olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Mary taught me that by adding the honey, you can achieve a lovely golden browning, without needing to overcook the chicken. It worked like a miracle.

Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add a bit more olive oil, and fry up the onion. When it softens, add the chopped red pepper and garlic. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms reduce.

Season to taste.

Add in your spices, and allow to cook for another few minutes. Stir, don’t let it burn. My mix was quite dry, so I added a splash of water to lift the fond off the bottom of the pan.

Once your veggies look good, the air is aromatic with the scent of those lovely spices, and you’ve shooed your life partner out of the kitchen, add the cooked and cooled rice and frozen peas to the mix.

Mary teaches that it is important to make sure the rice is cold after cooking. If you add it while it’s warm, you’ll end up with mush. Add it cold, and it will crisp up nicely.

Mix in your cooked chicken, and add the soy sauce. Cook on high to allow the rice to crisp. Watch this carefully, and continue to stir. Don’t allow it to burn.

Just before you are ready to serve, fry up one egg per person. A soft runny yolk is visually appealing, but if you forgot to watch your eggs, or prefer to have a solid yolk, that will be fine too.

Plate up the rice, and rest the egg on top.

And there you have it, Mary Berry’s Malay Rice. It is super easy to make, and is flexible enough to use whatever chicken and spices you might have or prefer.

Crepes

Crepes (pronouced cray-ps by me, and crips by a delightfully sassy Sarah Carey of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food) were on my mind last night. I had a bowl of left over sliced strawberries, and a fresh container of cream. Whipping cream.  Although nothing is quite as delicious as strawberries and cream on its own, I felt, despite the overwhelming oppressive heat of the apartment, I would make crepes. For some reason I couldn’t bring myself to make a nice cool crispy salad like most people do on hot days.

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I pulled out my blender, and plopped in:

1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk (for those of you who know I am lactose intolerant, I used lactose free milk)
4 large eggs
3 tbsp melted butter

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I whirred until well blended, then put the blender jar with the crepe mixture in the fridge to rest 20 minutes.

Then, for the next 30 minutes, in the oppressive heat of the apartment, I stood next to the hot stove making about a dozen or so crepes. Crepes are super-easy to make, they just require your attention.

I slightly butter the crepe pan (any flat pan will work), heated to medium (level 5 on my cooker). I add a bit of butter, then use a paper towel to wipe it off. Then I pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. Wobble the pan in a wobbly manner to help distribute the batter in a round shape and to try to cover the pan. It needs to be thin.

The crepe is done when the edges get tinged brown and pull away from the pan. Flip and give the other side a bit of a cook. It takes only seconds, so watch carefully.

As you pull them off, stack on a plate. Some sites will say to layer them between parchment or wax paper. Don’t bother with the fuss. They stack well on their own and come apart easily.

Now that you have a stack of crepes, the real fun begins. I had the strawberries and cream. All I did was slightly whip the cream so it was thick. I added sliced strawberries, a sprinkle of sugar, and a dollop of the cream. It looked something like this this:

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Which rolled up perfectly into this:

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This morning I thought why not expand my crepe horizons and try the ham, cheese and egg crepe as shown in the Everyday Foods video. Why not? Really? What can I lose? My egg. That’s what I can lose. This is how it turned out:

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This is how it was supposed to look:

MarthaStewart Photo via:  Martha Stewart

Clearly, Martha uses staples to keep the corners of her crepes perky.

Crepes, once cooked, can sit in your fridge for a few days. They can probably be frozen too, but I doubt you’d have any left over to freeze.