All posts tagged: rice

Coconut Rice

Plain white rice. It bores me. Sure, white rice is great as a neutral starch, soaking up the sauce from a stir fry or stew. But on its own? I get tired of it. Unfortunately, my kids love it, so I make a lot of Plan White Rice. And for them, it has to be Plain White Rice. (Yes, you can hear them saying it with the capital letters.) Nothing fancy is allowed, or they’ll push their bowl away and say they’re “not hungry”. Coconut rice is the exception. Replacing some of the water with coconut milk adds a subtle sweetness to the rice. Even better, it doesn’t register with the kids “not hungry” sensor – it leaves the rice looking like Plain White Rice. Until I got wild and crazy…and added shredded coconut. It seemed like a great idea, adding a little color and crunch to the rice. But I knew I had a sales job to do on the kids. The first time I made it, I gave each of them each a …

Jambalaya with Chicken and Sausage

This year, my Fat Tuesday recipe is Jambalaya. Jambalaya is the Cajun version of chicken and rice – a dish that exists all over the world, wherever rice is grown. Jambalaya, Paella, Arroz con Pollo – it’s all chicken and rice, the rest is just detail. As with all chicken and rice dishes, the goal is great rice. The other ingredients are just supporting players, there to add flavor to the rice. Jambalaya goes together like a stew. Brown the meat, saute the aromatics, add the rice and liquid, and cook until the rice is tender, with a thin layer of browned rice on the bottom. The rice comes out carrying the flavors from the other ingredients – Cajun spices, meaty sausage and chicken, sweet aromatics, and of course, a big hit of garlic. When serving, make sure to scrape some of the browned rice from the bottom of the pot into every serving; the crunch of the browned rice adds a delicious counterpoint to the rest of ingredients. I was almost able to slip …

Pan full of cooked paella, covered with clams, mussels, and shrimp, on a glass table

Grilled Paella with Shellfish, Chorizo, and Chicken (Paella Mixta)

I talked tough about taking it easy on vacation, didn’t I? Sometimes my cooking ambitions get away from me. My big production meal while I was at the cottage was paella on the grill. Paella on the grill is a great recipe for a crowd, but I forgot how much dicing is involved.  It is a bit of work when you’ve been throwing the kids into Lake Erie all day. But I made my Mom happy.  Isn’t that what really matters? I have modified my technique since I last posted about paella on the grill. I read an article by Sarah Jay in Fine Cooking magazine about paella, where she explains the cardinal sin of paella cooking: having too much rice in the pan. Sarah says you want just enough rice to cover the pan. This makes sure the rice cooks evenly, and gives a higher proportion of browned soccarat rice on the bottom. According to the article, my old 13 inch paella pan was too small for the 3 cups of rice I usually …

Grilled Paella with Chorizo and Chicken

Paella on the grill is one of the recipes I use to show off. It looks stunning when you are done with it; I’ve been told that it looks too good to eat.*Well, make that almost too good to eat. It’s also a great recipe for entertaining. It’s a one-dish meal from the grill, and a big paella can feed a crowd. You don’t have to run around cooking a bunch of different things while your guests enjoy themselves.*Umm…not that I ever do that. Make some gaspacho ahead of time, toss a salad, and when it’s time, cook and serve the paella. Add some sangria, or a good Spanish red wine, and you’ve got an impressive party that looks like you slaved away for hours. Recipe: Grilled Paella with Chorizo and ChickenEquipment: Grill, preferably charcoal (My favorite is the Weber Kettle). Large Paella pan (I use a 13″ pan, here, and this recipe just fits in it.) Ingredients: 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 lb chorizo sausage (Uncooked, Spanish style, if you can find …

Basic White Rice

This is, by far, the side dish I make most often.  Why?  Because The Kids will eat it.  Always.  I think they’d be happy if this was all I ever made for them.  “White rice?  Just plain white rice this time, right, Dad?”* *Translation: No funny stuff, right?  You’re not getting fancy on us again, right? It’s the perfect side dish for Asian meals – I usually make it with a stir fry of some sort, but it also goes well with grilled chicken, barbecued pork, and many other meals.* *Red beans and rice, of course, how could I forget red beans and rice… Recipe: Basic White Rice Cook time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 cups rice (my preferences are: jasmine rice, CalRose rice, or Carolina long grain rice) 3 cups water 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or table salt) 1 tbsp butter (optional) Directions: Put ingredients in a 3 quart or larger saucepan with a tight fitting lid.  Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Remove the cover once the water is boiling, …