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Thursday, April 10, 2014

No-time-to-make-congee congee

I'm still here! And still eating my congee every day. Finding the time to write about it regularly, however, has gotten more and more challenging in direct proportion to how mobile my small Kamal has gotten.  He's running now, and climbing, and even throwing the occasional full-fledged tantrum--a truly free-range toddler if ever there was one. (He's also giving hugs, telling jokes in his own funny toddler language,  and planting grave, carefully-aimed kisses on my mouth.)

Grave pre-kiss face.

This morning's congee was what I call lazy-day congee, or busy-morning congee. Basically it's congee made with already-cooked rice. It lacks a bit of the silky texture that real congee has, but the speed in coming together makes up for it, and thickened with some whisked egg, even I barely notice the lack. It's not the right choice for congee purists, but on a morning like today's--following a night when my charming child slept basically not at all--it's the difference between congee and no congee.

This is just a gratuitous photo of Kamal sleeping, because I need the reminder that it actually does happen sometimes.

No-Time-To-Make-Congee Congee

(Note: this made way too much for my breakfast and Kamal's. There's a bunch in the fridge I'll reheat for us tomorrow morning.)
About one cup cooked white jasmine rice (or any cooked rice or grain)
About 2 cups chicken stock (or dashi, or beef stock, or whatever stock you have around)
2 large eggs
(For add-ins, use whatever you have available that appeals to you. Here's what I used:)
About half a cup frozen shiitake mushrooms
A handful of shredded chicken pulled off a leftover roast chicken
2 big handfuls of washed fresh baby spinach

In a medium pot, combine rice, stock and mushrooms (and/or any frozen ingredients). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-high heat,  stirring frequently. After 5 or so minutes, whisk in eggs and continue frequent stirring; the mixture will thicken considerably and become more cohesive. Add in chicken and allow to heat through. Just before serving, stir in spinach until wilted.

That's it! You're done! Dig in. Here's my serving and Kamal's:

And Kamal's reaction: circumspect tasting,

skeptical connoisseurship,

  and finally, begrudging approval.

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