I went back and forth on this all day...sort of. I just wasn't in the mood to think about it, really. And as dinner would draw closer, I would tell myself to think of something for dinner, and then I wouldn't. So dinner was inspired by leftovers anyway, because I waited until the last minute.
I went with Josie's first idea- and made a fried rice. And let me just say right here and now, that fried rice is not a specialty of mine. I've never had it turn out well, and Andy can attest that when I say I'm making fried rice, he's secretly dreading whatever comes out of that pot. I've just never done it right, I guess. So I chopped a shallot, red bell pepper, a piece of the fennel, a carrot, some squash, and my sugar snap peas and got them nice and soft in my wok. Then I added the nicely cold rice and fried for awhile before adding some soy sauce and seasoning, followed by an egg that I'd scrambled up earlier. And actually, it turned out quite well! The kids still didn't want to eat it, but at least it tasted good to Andy and I. My kids just don't like rice, I guess. Now I'm really thinking about the curry suggestion from Lia...I still have plenty leftover from my photo, and still have a ton of rice, so that may be tonight's dinner.
The leftovers that inspired dinner were actually some Filipino Spring Rolls leftover from Sunday Company Dinner. Aunt Lita's Lumpia are one of my favorite things to make for friends and company because they are so good, and they are truly crowd pleasing. And every single time I find myself rolling them up and deep frying them, I can't help but think of my Aunt Lita and my cousins. Growing up we spent many a summer weekend in their backyard, playing and exploring, and feasting on mountains of Aunt Lita's delightful Lumpia.
This time, for the first time ever, I changed up the recipe a touch. I left out the onion called for, due to an allergy, and instead I added half a bulb of fennel, and about 2 cups of haricot verts-or green beans. I chopped up the fennel and the beans finely in my food processor so they blended right in with the ground carrots, celery, and ground beef. The extra vegetables were a great addition, as usual, no one thing stuck out, other than the ground beef. For the most part, all the children at the table enjoyed them as well- so they are most definitely kid friendly. These are much easier to make than it seems- you simply grind vegetables, mix with beef, seasoning, and eggs, and then roll into spring roll wrappers. While they could be baked, you're really going to get the best flavor if you brave the deep-fat fryer-and it's so, so worth it! Definitely feel free to play with the combination of vegetables- just try and keep the same proportions going.
Aunt Lita's Lumpia
2 pounds ground beef
4 stalks celery
3 medium carrots
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers
Grind celery, carrots, and onion in a food processor, or chop finely. Mix with the hamburger, 3 beaten eggs, and seasonings.
Beat remaining egg and put on a shallow plate
Place egg roll wrapper on table and put meat mixture in a long narrow row. Roll up, sealing with the egg.
Heat oil in a frying pan or deep fryer to 400º. Fry until golden brown