I stir beef jerky into this lightly spicy rice to add a savory accent. Look for jerky made without additives. If you prefer, you can use smoked ham in its place.
1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups water, plus 2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 ounces beef jerky, cut into 1-inch pieces (see Note)
1 large dried tree ear mushroom or 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small sweet potato or 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 scallion, thinly sliced
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff the rice and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, pour 2 cups of the boiling water over the beef jerky. Cover and let stand until pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain the jerky and coarsely chop it.
In a small bowl, cover the tree ear mushroom with the remaining 1/2 cup of boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and chop the tree ear into 1-inch pieces; if using shiitakes, discard the stems and chop the caps.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, sweet potato and ginger and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the beef jerky, tree ears and almonds. Stir-fry until heated through. Add the rice and soy sauce and stir-fry to break up the rice and heat it through. Season with salt. Stir in the scallion and serve.
Make Ahead: The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate the rice, beef jerky and mushroom separately.
Wine Recommendation: For this curried rice dish, stick with sparkling wine, such as the nonvintage Mumm Cuvée Napa from California, or play off the red-pepper notes with a crisp California Sauvignon Blanc, such as the 1996 Murphy-Goode Reserve Fumé II.
Notes: When I go camping, I plan ahead and order jalapeño beef jerky from MoHotta, MoBetta, 800-462-
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