Hello from freezing and snowy New York! Tonight I leave for 10 days in Paris (hopefully, unless said snow gets in the way!), and I’m totally psyched! For most of it I will be working, but I hope to have plenty of time to explore, check out museums and eat! Speaking of food, I am not a huge fan of airport/airplane cuisine (is anyone?), and since I will be flying during my normal dinnertime, I have put quite a bit of thought into what will keep me satiated until I arrive in beautiful Paris in time for a pain au chocolat and a coffee.
Everyone seems to approach travel food in different ways—some value convenience most and others want an elaborate feast, using the mentality that if it is their last meal (God forbid!) it better be delicious. Taking advice from this book, I settled for something thoughtful, delicious and easy—a dish of fried rice that uses up your fresh produce and/or any leftovers you have, while still tasting new and interesting. This also packs well, and doesn’t involve lots of mixing or assembling once you get to the airport.
“Loaning” myself to my company’s Paris office next week falls a week or so short of the 52nd anniversary of the Mona Lisa loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy persuaded the French Minister of Cultural Affairs to loan the work to the US for three weeks in 1962. This was a rare trip for the work, which is displayed under bulletproof glass at the Louvre, its usual home. After New York, the painting traveled to Washington, DC, where it was shown at the National Gallery before heading back to Paris.
The painting was insured for $100 million, and carefully shipped across the world. As someone with a small amount of experience shipping old master pictures of high value, I can only imagine what a crazy shipment this was to orchestrate—pre-shipment, the painting was packed in a temperature controlled, fireproof, airtight crate, and it flew with a 24-hour security detail.
My trip should be a lot easier and far less expensive, and I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and start a day of sightseeing. This fried rice is key—it’s a healthy home-cooked meal before I start 10 all-restaurant-days. In addition to using up the veggies in my fridge, I also picked up a grilled salmon fillet to add in as my main protein. I plan to eat this bowl of goodness while I am still waiting for my flight at the airport—just because I love salmon doesn’t mean everyone on my plane wants to smell it. 🙂
Once prepared, this meal can be packed up in a plastic to-go container, and thrown in your carry-on.
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup diced onion
2 cups cooked brown rice, preferably a day old
1 cup protein of your choice
1 cup kale, sautéed for a couple of minutes in olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Sauté the onions in the oil over high heat for about a minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring every once in a while for a couple minutes. Crack the eggs over the mixture, and cook, scrambling everything until the egg is cooked through. Add in the protein and veggies, and heat through, then stir in the oyster sauce. Cook an additional moment or so longer—until you are happy with it, and remove from the heat. You can season with salt and pepper if you want, but I usually let the oyster sauce flavor it, and let it be! Let cool completely before packing up, and don’t forget to consider silver wear—plastic is easiest. See you in Paris! xx
Adapted by the “Expat Fried Rice” in Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen, serves 2
Featured art: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1503-1506, oil on panel
Photo: The Mona Lisa at the National Gallery, Washington in 1962