Who needs a recipe for fried rice? Well…no one does. It’s always a matter of stir frying leftover cooked rice with whatever you want -- and it should always be a crowd-pleaser. The recipe for “Shrimp, Broccoli, and Scallion Fried Rice,” from theperfectpantry.com, is exactly that: very easy and very tasty.

I doubled the amounts in this recipe, in order to use 1 lb. shrimp and 4 cups cooked rice. This fried rice was especially appealing to my young child; broccoli, shrimp, and rice are guaranteed winners. I used frozen broccoli, which made this all the more simple. I was happy to use toasted sesame oil, because I adore its unmistakable potency. Rather than pursue the recommended “shao hsing wine” (which is a Chinese rice wine), I used my trusty dry vermouth. Sake or dry sherry would have been suitable substitutes, as well. The consistency of my final fried rice heap was perfect.

I also enjoyed the flavors of the “Japanese Asparagus Dengaku,” from the April 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. Five simple ingredients. Any time I use miso I feel important and smart -- and my young child likes it. Instead of using tahini here, I opted for peanut butter. This was fine. I broiled my coated asparagus for 9 minutes, and liked its “speckled brown” taste.

Scallions (12) = $1.06
Shrimp (1 lb.) = $12.52
Asparagus (1 lb.) = $2.43

RECIPES: make a fried rice for everyone to enjoy and try something new with asparagus
fried rice is quick, quick, quick -- and this is part of its appeal; the time it takes to heat your oven to its highest temperature will take longer than the actual cooking time for the asparagus
TASTES: scallion crunch, shrimp, and salty sesame mingle with rice; browned asparagus come out crispy/salty/sweet/tangy

Next time, I will take on the endeavor of the “Tri-Colored Irish Vegetable Terrine,” from thedailyspud.com, along with the “Butternut Pear Curry Bisque,” from the October 2000 issue of Cooking Light. Get ready for a colorful meal. Come back to my site on Thursday, November 11, to witness this one.