Friday, September 2, 2011

Foodie Friday: Variations on Rice

Hey Humble Readers...

Any big plans for the long weekend?  I was looking forward to spending the last real weekend of the summer outside, maybe at the farmer's market and the park.  Sadly, the cold that the baby girl has seems to be making its way around the hobbit hole.  My Beloved is really congested and I've got a scratchy throat.  Oh well, I would have just spent money at the farmer's market. 

This week I don't have one big recipe for you.  Instead I have a bunch of little recipes. 

I confess, I'm a meat and taters kind of gal.  I prefer mashed taters, baked taters, roasted taters.  I like them so much that I would only cook rice when I was doing a stir fry or curry.  Why?  Because I was always BORED with rice. White rice, without a sauce of some sort, is just blah. 

Basic Long Grain White Rice

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water*

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add rice, stir, and cover.  Reduce temp to low and allow to do its thing for 20-22 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and serve. 


So, I started experimenting.  These are all pretty simple things, but they all pack a big flavour punch.  Just make sure to use flavours that will complement your entree.
  • Swap stock (beef, chicken, veggie) for the water.  Even canned stewed tomatoes work.
  • Fresh herbs work well.  Tarragon, basil, dill, cilantro, saffron, and parsely all work well. 
  • Toss in a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, or even your favourite flavour of tea (in a tea bag).  Remove before serving. 
  • Diced onion sauteed in a bit of butter adds a great savoury flavour.  Minced garlic also works, just don't let it burn
  • In place of SOME of the stock, use fruit juice.  I often use lemon juice, and have used orange juice successfully.  I normally do a one third/two thirds ratio (1 part juice to 2 parts stock).  Right now, I'm pondering apple juice flavoured rice with a pork main dish.  Hmmm...
  • Zest a lemon, lime or orange and use the zest in the stock for a slight citrus note.
  • In place of SOME of the stock, use white wine.  Again, use a 1:2 ratio.  Amazingly good!
  • At the end, add in some toasted nuts (like slivered almonds or pine nuts) for some great crunch.
* I always go a bit shy on the liquid, whatever I'm using.  Usually about 1 & 2/3 cup for one cup of rice.  Or, I dump in a bit of extra rice. 

So, I don't have any pics of rice, but I do have some pics from some recipes I made this week.  Enjoy!

Orange Chicken w/ Saffron Cinnamon Rice
(totally ripped off from Rachael Ray)

Remember those Drunk Pork Chops I did a few weeks ago?  Well I did a whole chicken in the same brine.  Just one word.  Ah-MAY-Zing!  So tender and juicy, and the gravy was killer!