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Posts Tagged ‘rice’

Porcini & spinach risottoWe love a good risotto and this simple one doesn’t disappoint. Perfect cold weather comfort food.

Wine Suggestion: as this is a richer flavoured mushroom dish our first choice would be to head to a Nebbiolo, especially a good Barolo. With the addition of the spinach which has a fresh, iron bitterness we would swing back to a full-bodied white and go for a good Alsace Pinot Gris. The depth of flavour of this dish can balance a really intense Pinot Gris like one from Zind- Humbrecht, which sometimes can be edgy and a bit much for many foods. This one can handle it so push the boat out for flavour and enjoy.

As we had this as a weeknight treat, however, we found that a more humbleVilla Wolf Pinot Gris from the Pfalz also worked.

Porcini & spinach risotto – serves 2

  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 50g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g risotto rice
  • a glass of white wine
  • 750ml veg stock, simmering (we use Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder)
  • 100g spinach, washed & chopped
  • parmesan shavings

Soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve to remove any gritty bits and keep for later. Roughly chop the porcini.

Heat the butter in a wide shallow pan and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the porcini and risotto rice and stir until coated.

Pour in the wine and bubble until it has been absorbed by the rice. Gradually add the stock and porcini soaking liquid, stirring until the rice is al dente (you may not need all of the stock). Stir through the spinach until just wilted and serve sprinkled with shavings of parmesan.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, February 2009.)

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Tajik green lentil & rice soup

We made this because we had lentils, onions, celery and carrots lying around and we hate wasting anything. This is  hearty and perfectly adequate as as a stand-alone dish. The herb paste and goat’s cheese make it extra special.  Not at all bad for a leftovers soup!

Wine Suggestion: as this is so hearty and earthy a round, juicy red matches this dish well. The Beelgara Shiraz from the Riverland in Australia, while not particularly complex works well because of the warm bramble and plum flavours, medium body and gentle tannins that don’t dominate but rather sit delightfully alongside the flavours of the lentils, pesto and cheese.

Tajik Green Lentil & Rice Soup – serves 4

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 200g green or brown lentils, washed
  • 150g brown rice, washed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 120g crumbly goat’s or sheep’s cheese

For the herb paste:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a good handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • a good handful of coriander
  • a handful of mint
  • a handful of pistachios
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Throw in the onion, celery, carrot & tomatoes and cook until softened. Add the garlic, cumin seeds & allspice. Cook for another minute then stir in the lentils, rice & bay leaves.

Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then turn down and cover the pan. Cook for 20-30 mintues or until the rice and lentils are tender.

To make the herb paste: put all the ingredients in a small blender with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then whizz to a thick puree.

Thin the soup with a little hot water and taste for seasoning. Serve in bowls with the herb paste & crumbled cheese on top.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

Tajik herb paste

 

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Paella de rape con azafran

This is a great weekend dish that is relatively easy to make and looks amazing when brought to the table with all its fabulous colours. The key to a good paella is not to stir it. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.

Wine Suggestion: We started with a glass of dry Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado sherry followed by an old, but wonderfully youthful and fresh, Dehesa la Granja 14 1998 a Tempranillo from close to the Portuguese border in Castilla. The 14 refers to the minimum amount of time it is held by Alejandro Fernandez in his underground caverns on this property before release. At 18 years old it was delicious proof of the ageworthiness of this unique estate and its elegance and refined fruit didn’t overwhelm the monkfish.

Monkfish rice with saffron (Paella de rape con azafrán) – serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter

  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g monkfish fillets, trimmed and cut into bit-size pieces
  • 2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green peppers, halved, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 800ml hot fish stock (buy it fresh at your fishmongers)
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 250g calasparra (paella) rice
  • 80ml white wine or fino sherry
  • 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • 225g piquillo peppers, torn into strips (we buy the brand Navarrico)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a 30-40cm paella pan or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the monkfish and toss gently to fry until slightly undercooked in the centre. Remove the monkfish and any juices to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and put back onto the heat. Add the rest of the olives oil and heat until hot, then add the onions and peppers, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic and the fennel seeds, and cook for 10 minutes or until coloured and sweet. Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a separate saucepan. Add the saffron, then take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Add the rice to the paella pan and stir for a minute to coat with the oil and vegetables. (You can prepare the dish up to this point before your guests arrive. The recipe will take about 20 minutes to finish.)

Put the heat to medium-high and add the wine/sherry to the pan, followed by the hot stock. Add half the parsley and the paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Do not stir the rice after this point. Simmer for 10 minutes or until there is just a little liquid above the rice. Spread the monkfish and its juices out across the top of the rice and gently push each piece of fish into the liquid. Gently shake the pan to prevent sticking and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes or until there is just a little liquid left at the bottom of the rice. Turn the heat off and cover the dish tightly with foil. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Decorate with strips of piquillo peppers, the rest of the parsley and the lemon. Serve with a salad if you like.

(Original recipe from Moro: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark, Ebury Press, 2001.)

Paella de rape con azafran

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Chicken Caramelised Onion & Cardamon Rice

Another Ottolenghi success which  has that comforting combination of crispy chicken skin and warm spices. Always a crowd pleaser in our house!

Wine Suggestion: we went for a Viognier made in the northern Rhone valley by Jean-Michel Gerin. It was just his “La Champine” IGP Collines Rhodaniennes but it was delicious and had exotic fruit and spice hints that matched and complemented the cardamon and cinnamon.

Chicken with caramelised onion & cardamom rice – serves 4

  • 25g currants soaked in a little lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1kg chicken thighs
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp whole cloves
  • 2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 550ml boiling water
  • 5g parsley, chopped
  • 5g dill, chopped
  • 5g coriander, chopped
  • 100g Greek yoghurt, mixed with 2 tbsp of olive oil (optional)

Heat half the olive oil in a large sauté pan, then add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and wipe the pan clean.

Put the chicken into a large bowl and season with 1½ tsp of salt and black pepper. Add the rest of the olive oil, cardamom, cloves & cinnamon and mix well together with your hands. Heat up the pan again and add the chicken and spices. Sear for 5 minutes per side and remove from the pan. Don’t worry about any spices that stay in the pan. Remove all but a millimetre of oil form the bottom of the pan. Add the rice, caramelised onion, 1 tsp of salt & lots of black pepper. Strain the currants and add them too. Stir well and return the seared chicken and push it into the rice.

Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover and cook on a very low heat for 50 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, take the lid off briefly and cover the dish with a clean tea towel before replacing the lid. Leave untouched for 10 minutes. Finally, add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and season if necessary. Serve hot or warm with the yoghurt if you like.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

 

Chicken with caramelised onion & cardamon

Chicken with caramelised onion & cardamon

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Basmati rice with orzo

Such an impressive and versatile rice dish. Great with Middle Eastern-style food or indeed anything you deem rice an appropriate side for. We served with these delicious meatballs.

Basmati rice & orzo – serves 6

  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp melted ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 85g orzo
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt

Wash the rice well, then put in a large bowl and cover with lots of cold water. Soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

Heat the ghee or butter and oil on a medium-high heat in a medium heavy-based saucepan. Add the orzo and sauté for a few minutes, or until the grains turn dark golden. Add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained rice and salt, bring to a gentle boil, stir gently, then cover the pan and simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid during this time!

Take the rice off the heat, remove the lid and quickly cover with a clean tea towel. Put the lid back on over the towel and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork before serving.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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We challenge you to stop once you’ve started eating this! Serve as a main dish with some Greek yoghurt or yoghurt with cucumber. Leftovers are good served at room temperature.

Mejadra – to serve 6

  • 250g green or brown lentils
  • 4 medium onions
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 350ml water

Put the lentils in small saucepan, cover generously with water, bring to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until they are soft but still have some bite, then drain.

Thinly slice the onions and put on a large flat plate. Sprinkle with flour and 1 tsp salt and toss with your hands. Heat 250ml sunflower oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. The oil is ready when a small piece of onion sizzles vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add a third of the onion. Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring now and then, until golden-brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle over a little more salt. Repeat with the next two batches (add a bit more oil if necessary).

Discard the oil and wipe the saucepan clean. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and put over a medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, ½ tsp salt and lots of black pepper. Stir until the rice is coated with oil, then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, remove the lid and quickly cover with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and leave for 10 minutes.

Add half the fried onion and gently fork through. Pile up in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.

Wine Suggestion: This dish deserves a light red without too much aggressive tannins, weight or alcohol. A youthful Syrah from a lesser appellation in the Rhone would work, like St Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage. Alternately, try a youthful local red from the Golan Heights or Lebanon where the spiciness and warmth will also compliment the flavours.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012)

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We have loved every recipe we have tried from Rick Stein’s Spain. This is a really nice rice dish from Valencia which we’ll definitely be doing again. It tastes similar to paella but requires fewer ingredients. Delicious and easy!

Arroz de rape, azafrán y pimientos – to serve 6

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g finely chopped shallot
  • 1 small head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pimentón dulce (smoked sweet Spanish paprika), plus a bit extra for seasoning the fish
  • a pinch of crushed dried chillies
  • 200g vine ripened beef tomatoes, halved
  • 1 litre Fish stock
  • 1/2 tsp loosely packed saffron strands
  • 400g short-grained paella rice such as Calasperra
  • 1 large roasted red pepper or 3 jarred pimientos
  • 500g monkfish fillet, trimmed of membrane then cut across into 1 cm thick slices
  • Aioli to serve

Grate the tomatoes using a coarse grater. You will be left with the skin which you can discard. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a 28-30cm cazuela or shallow flameproof casserole, add the shallot and fry gently for 10 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic, pimentón and chillies and fry for another 2 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and cook until they have broken down into a sauce.

Stir in the fish stock, saffron and 1 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Sprinkle in the rice, stir once, then leave to simmer vigorously over a medium-high heat for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the roasted red pepper or jarred pimientos into 1cm-wide strips, removing any skin and seeds. Sprinkle over the top of the rice and shake briefly so they sink in a bit. Lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for another 12 minutes. At the end the liquid should all have absorbed and the rice should have small holes on the surface.

Before the rice is ready, pat the monkfish pieces dry and season well with salt and a little pimentón. Heat 2tbsp olil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the monkfish slices in batches and fry over a high heat for 1 minute on each side until very lightly coloured and almost cooked.

Lay the fish on top of the rice, turn off the heat and cover with a lid or clean cloth. Leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the monkfish to finish cooking through.

Serve with alioli.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011)

Wine Suggestion: The best match would be something with a the joy of youth and fruitiness like a joven (young) Tempranillo or a light Garnacha.

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