Dinner was going to be a combo of leftovers and new-overs. I’d bought a packet of sweet and sour chicken to try out from the freezer section of the grocery store. I also had leftover pork chops and white rice to make fried rice. I had picked up fresh pea pods to add to the fried rice. And I had asparagus. All of my favorite foods!
I had a massive bundle of fresh asparagus that needed to start getting eaten, so I was looking for a recipe to work that into a mostly Chinese meal. When I was recipe surfing I ran across someone making a sherry cream sauce over rice and veggies and my brain shrieked “AH HA!” Sherry is my favorite add-in when making pureed soups and sauces. It just makes whatever you put a glug in HUM with flavor!
So sautéed asparagus in a cream sauce over rice wasn’t real Asian, but in my castle we cross-pollinate at times. I’m not sure what country we’re traveling to with a sherry cream sauce and asparagus but it will be over a small bed of plain white rice so we’ll pretend it’s new Asian. Dinner was planned.
I started by sautéing some diced white onions in a little oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When they were a little translucent I pushed them aside and scrambled three beaten eggs, then broke them up into smaller pieces. I added some garlic powder and soy sauce, then prepared my rice.
I had about 6 cups of white rice my P.S. (Prep Spouse) had thought to cook the previous day so it would be nice and cold. I put a large drizzle of oil into the bowl and used my hands to work the oil into the rice until it was all separated and ready to fry. I learned that trick a few years ago and it prevents the rice from clumping together.
I poured the rice into the skillet and stirred it around. I added a good-sized handful of frozen peas to the skillet and stirred them in as well. I let the fried rice cook until it was heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes. I didn’t want the peas to over cook and get mushy.
I taste tested and decided to add another drizzle of soy sauce along with the diced pork. I also had about a cup of canned bean sprouts leftover from another dish and added that to the skillet.
I stirred the fried rice and let it heat through. I taste tested it and decided it didn’t need any further seasoning. The soy sauce takes the place of salt and adds that little bit of acid to make the flavors stronger.
I stirred well and my fried rice was ready. I turned the heat off and put a lid on the skillet until the rest of my dinner was finished.
Next I was ready to start my asparagus dish. This was the one that I was most excited about- I LOVE asparagus! The fried rice I’ve made many times and even posted it awhile back on this blog. In that post I made it with chicken and shrimp.
I had snapped off the ends of my asparagus and cut them into 1” pieces. In a medium-sized skillet I drizzled oil and heated it to medium high. I tossed in the asparagus and stirred and fried it for 2 or 3 minutes to take a little of the crunch out of it. It would cook further in the cream sauce so it doesn’t need to be sautéed for long.
I added 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and stirred it until it melted. I sprinkled 2 tablespoons of flour over the asparagus and stirred that around until it was browned and the flour flavor was cooked out.
I added a cup of cream to the skillet, stirring it in slowly and it thickened as it was incorporated. I put in a glug of sherry (the real kind, not cooking sherry, but either will work if you prefer to not use alcohol). I taste tested my sauce and added flour and black pepper to taste.
I’d heated the rest of the white rice in the microwave and was ready to plate my food. The sweet and sour chicken had been baking in the oven according to the package directions and was also ready to serve. I put a mound of white rice on the plates and served the asparagus and sherry cream sauce over it. I molded the fried rice into a round shape, just to be all fancy and fun. Then I added a serving of sweet and sour chicken to the plate.
I’d also dug some egg rolls out of the freezer and heated them in the oven with then sweet and sour chicken. Unfortunately they weren’t ones I’d made; my P.S. (the traitor) had bought some pre-made eggrolls at the grocery. They were ok. I could have done better, but I’m not superwoman. It was a busy enough meal to make!
I just loved the sherry cream sauce with the asparagus. I make asparagus in a lot of simple ways and it’s nice to have a change with a rich sauce on it.
It had been awhile since we’d had fried rice; it seems like we run hot and cold on that. We’ll have it very often for a few months, then go months without making it. It just kind of depends on if we’ve taken the time to make the rice ahead of time and if we have leftover chicken or pork. And remember those pea pods I picked up to put in the fried rice? I didn’t remember them, and they remain in the fridge to be used at a future date. Darn. I meant well.
Pork Fried Rice
2 leftover pork chops; diced
6 cups of white rice; cooked and chilled
drizzle of olive oil
1/2 white onion; diced
3 eggs; beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 can bean sprouts; drained
1/4 cup green onions; diced
Place cold rice in a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Work oil in with your hands, separating the rice well.
In a large nonstick skillet heat a drizzle of olive oil and saute the onions until translucent. Push aside and fry scrambled eggs, breaking into smaller pieces when cooked.
Add soy sauce and garlic powder, stirring well.
Stir in rice and peas, separating well. Stir in bean sprouts if adding. Stir in pork and let fry 2-3 more minutes.
Taste test for seasoning, adding more soy sauce if desired.
Serve hot topped with chopped green onions.
Asparagus in Sherry Cream Sauce
1/2 lb fresh asparagus; snap off woody ends and cut into 1″ pieces
drizzle of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of white rice, heated
In a medium nonstick skillet heat a drizzle of olive oil and saute asparagus 2-3 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted.
Add flour, garlic powder, and salt. Stir, cooking 2-3 more minutes until the flour flavor is cooked out.
Add cream in 1/2 cup portions, stirring and allowing to thicken between additions.
Stir in sherry and taste test for seasoning, adding salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve hot over white rice.