I keep on lamenting to my friends elsewhere in the country and the world that I don’t have enough friends in Calcutta. I have a handful of friends here true, but mostly they have drastically different work hours than mine and as a result meeting and chatting up sessions are few and far between. So when I met Manjari (who blogs from For the Love of Food) back in July and learnt that she is mostly free during the days, my joy knew no bounds. What acted as a bonus was her immense passion for food and in no time we were rapt in conversation over our common love. But soon after our first few meetings M left for Bombay to spend precious 4 months with her husband before he left for a 2-year stint in South Africa. So my complaints of not having enough friends in Calcutta continued for another good stretch.
M returned early this month, and gracious hostess that she is, she immediately decided to throw and homecoming potluck for her friends. The lavish lunch that she whipped up boasted of the BEST ever bread I’ve eaten in a long, long time, Fish and Olives in White Wine Sauce, Wholewheat Pasta in Tomatoes and Parmesan and the incredible Christmas Fruit Cake. I wondered long and hard as to what I should take for her, quite afraid that my culinary skills might fall flat in front of her expertise. I mulled over some Spaghetti Carbonara, Bacon and Pea Soup but finally upon her insistence stuck to this Bacon and Pea Rice. This is incredibly easy and just requires some bacon, peas and cooked rice, but the flavour packs quite a punch. M loved it and so did her Dad, so I guess the effort (or the lack of it) has reached its fruition.
Bacon, roughly chopped: 300 gm
Rice, cooked: 4 cups
Onion, finely chopped: 2
Peas: 1 cup (frozen or boiled if fresh)
Fish sauce: 1 tbsp
Garlic salt: to taste
Black pepper: to taste
1. Heat a non-stick pan and fry the bacon till crisp. Drain on kitchen towel and set aside. Retain 1 tbsp of the bacon fat and set the rest for future use.
2. In the bacon fat add the onions and fry till soft and translucent for 5-6 minutes. Now add the peas and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Tip in the bacon. Add fish sauce and garlic salt (check for seasoning after adding the first one) and pepper. Mix well and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Serve hot.
Kickstarting Christmas: Day 9