Saturday, February 26, 2011
BUSY WEEK and COLORFUL RICE
Yesterday has been a week since I was on the net! This was one hecktic looooooooooong week! Yesterday, I first checked FoodBuzz and buzzed off all the yummy creations I missed through the week and boy, was there some pretty tasty, wonderful food to admire! Just to mention few that really intrigued my taste buds: Warm and Cheesy Gnochi Salad @Welcome to Sandra's Easy Cooking , Chocolate Panna Cotta @The Cultural Dish , Ceviche @Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves , Skirt Steak with Stout Pan Sauce @The Cultural Dish , and my personal winner KEY LIME PIE @Cherry Tea Cakes ! Love it!!!
Now about the recipe. We cook rise pretty often (I always choose rice over potatoes), although potato is the most loved starch as far as my family is concerned! They could eat "any way" potato three times a day! Rice as rice, all white on the plate is not that inviting, so I always try to add some color to it: sometimes just by adding a dash of turmeric that will turned it light yellow, or some browned vermicelli pasta to give it some movement, but mostly I add colorful veggies that really bring the rice to life. And as far as the flavor busting, well: "Spices to the rescue!"
(for the printable recipe click here)
5 medium carrots, diced
1 tbsp Vegeta (or Dafinka)
1 ½ cup water
1 ½ cup frozen green peas
1 cup frozen sweet corn
3 medium potatoes, peeled, diced, and fried
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups long grain rice, soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes
5 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp for veggies + 3 tbsp for rice
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp crushed chili peppers
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp jerk spice
1 cup golden raisins, washed and dried
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Cook carrots in 1 ½ cup of water with 1 tbsp Vegeta (or Dafinka) for 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. Add frozen green peas and sweet corn, turns the heat off, cover, and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before draining. Peas and corn will become soft, but will still be bright in color. Do not discard the veggie “water”, preserve it for rice cooking. You will need 3 cups of liquid for cooking the rice. So, go ahead and add as much of hot water as needed to the veggie “water” to obtain 3 cups of liquid. If you like you can also use chicken, beef, or veggie stock or broth. It is up to you.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil, add onions, garlic and sweat a bit with pinch of salt and dash of black pepper. Add crushed tomatoes and spices (crushed chili peppers, cumin, jerk spice, black pepper). Stir and add veggies too. Let everything simmer over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Fry your diced potatoes.
Into a pot over medium heat, put the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of salt, and ½ tsp ground turmeric. Add the drained rice, stir, and sweat for 5 minutes. Rice will absorb the oil, become yellow in color, and shiny. Turn the heat to high, add 3 cups of liquid, and bring to a furious boil. Turn the heat down to medium high, cover the pot tightly, and let the rice cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to minimum and continue to cook for additional 5 minutes. Turn the heat down, fluff the rice with a fork, cover, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, it is time to prepare raisins. In a small skillet over medium heat, put the remaining 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Let it become really hot. Add raisins and wait until they plump out. It won’t take long! Remove them from oil and immediately stir into the veggies. If you let fried raisins stand in the air for too long, they will become hard as a rock and inedible. Add walnuts, too! Stir and set aside.
Now it is time to mix all together. I usually layer rice, veggies with raisins and walnuts, and potato into a serving plate, and than carefully fold all together. Dish can be served as is with a side of salad, or you can cook your favorite meat, chicken, or fish, and serve it with this rice.