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Recipe SWAT Team spices up rice this week
Martha Pesa from A Family Feast shares with us her recipe for Brown Rice and Lentil Salad
From breakfast rice porridge to rice burritos for lunch and chicken and rice for dinner, rice can be eaten at any meal — and there is even rice pudding for dessert. As a staple in diets around the world, rice is an important part of many cultural cuisines. With so many options for preparing rice, this versatile ingredient is far from commonplace.
When using rice, the culinary possibilities are endless, and this week, we put the Culinary Content Network and our staff to the test to come up with tasty rice recipes that are anything but boring. Here are some of the rice dish highlights bursting with bold flavor:
· Lori Yates of Foxes Love Lemons, shares with us her twist on a Mexican classic with her recipe for Guacamole Rice. Yates is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
· For a Mediterranean spin on rice, Martha Pesa of A Family Feast gives us her recipe for Lentils with Brown Rice and Feta. Pesa is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
· And for the winning recipe, Nazneen of Coffee and Crumpets and the Culinary Content Network shared with us her recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Pullao. This one-pot dish pairs rice with chicken, vegetables, and warm spices.
All of the recipes featured can be made at home for about $20 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
20 Cauliflower Rice Recipes for Carb-Cutters
It might sound like a hybrid between a grain and a vegetable, but cauliflower is actually all vegetable. A food genius somewhere discovered that if you put a chopped head of cauliflower in your food processor, you get tiny cauliflower pieces that have a similar texture to rice. If you don't have a food processor (or think this sounds like too much work), don't fret — many grocery stores sell pre-riced cauliflower in bags, in both fresh and frozen varieties. Instead of boiling the cauliflower rice, sauté it in a pan to get the perfect soft consistency. Replacing rice with cauliflower not only cuts dreaded carbs but adds a lot of much-needed nutrients. A medium-sized head of cauliflower has a whopping 1,758 mg of potassium and 283 mg of vitamin C!
You can use this hack to replace rice in your favorite dishes, but you can also use it to replace other types of grains and create entirely new dishes. We found some fun and simple ways bloggers are doing that.
Samin Nosrat’s 10 Essential Persian Recipes
The author of “Salt Fat Acid Heat” and star of the related Netflix show chooses the dishes that define the cuisine for her.
Credit. Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.
“You may attend school in America,” my mom regularly told me and my brothers when we were kids in our native San Diego, in the 1980s, “but when you come home, you’re in Iran.” Accordingly, we spoke Farsi, and attended Persian school on Saturdays to learn to read and write the language we listened to classical Persian setar music and celebrated Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
But certainly, the most powerful form of cultural immersion we experienced was culinary. My mom , who left Iran in 1976, steeped us in the smells, tastes and traditions of Persian cuisine. She spent hours upon hours each week traversing not just San Diego but also Orange County and Los Angeles, over 100 miles away, in search of the flavors that reminded her of Iran. She taught us that regardless of what was going on in the news, home is home, and nothing can transport you there like taste.
In Irvine, she found a bakery making fresh sangak, a giant dimpled flatbread named for the pebbles that line the oven floor on which the slabs of dough are baked. She’d line us all up there on weekend mornings so that each of us could order the three-per-person maximum — 12 pieces being enough to justify the hour-and-a-half-long drive for bread.
Systematically, she bought and tasted every brand of plain yogurt available at the grocery store, in search of the thickest, sourest one. She regularly packed us into our blue station wagon and drove across town to the international grocer, where she could have her choice of seven types of feta and buy fresh herbs by the pound rather than by the bunch.
The cornerstone of every Persian meal is rice, or polo. Each day, my mom would unzip a five-kilogram burlap sack of rice — always basmati — and portion out a cup per person into a large bowl, rinsing and soaking it for hours before giving it a brief boil. Then she’d begin the sorcery required to make t ahdig, the crispy rice crust by which every Persian cook’s worth is measured.
Sometimes, she’d line the pot with lavash for a bread tahdig. On other occasions, when a special trip for bread wasn’t possible, she’d use a readily available flour tortilla, which yielded similarly glorious results. Either way, she’d divide and serve the rice and tahdig, encouraging us kids to delay gratification and resist gobbling down that gloriously crunchy crust first . I never could.
Persian cuisine is, above all, about balance — of tastes and flavors, textures and temperatures. In every meal, even on every plate, you’ll find both sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, cooked and raw, hot and cold. In the winter, we ate khoresh-e fesenjoon, a hearty, sweet-and-sour pomegranate and walnut stew to warm us from within. In the summer, we’d peel eggplant for khoresh-e bademjoon, a bright tomato and eggplant stew made distinctly tart with lemon juice and ghooreh, or unripe grapes.
No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes and scallions, which are eaten raw and by the handful, often tucked into a piece of fresh flatbread with a bite of feta, cucumber or walnuts. I’ve never quite grown accustomed to the practice and prefer the incredible, and multifaceted, ways herbs find their ways into cooked dishes . Kuku sabzi, a sort of frittata, is so densely packed with finely chopped sautéed herbs that the ingredient list reads like a practical joke.
Across Iran, but particularly in the northern regions, where my family is from, herbs are treated like a vegetable or main ingredient, rather than a garnish. In the Bay Area, where I now live, I can always spot an Iranian shopper’s grocery cart from afar — it’s the one piled high with bunches of parsley, cilantro, dill and mint.
Though I am both Iranian and a cook, I’m hardly an Iranian cook. I’m more of an Iranian eater, so when The Times asked me to choose the dishes that somehow encapsulate Persian cuisine to me — the essential recipes — I interviewed my mother, surveyed two doz en Iranian and Iranian-American cooks, and compared ingredient lists and techniques with just about every Persian cookbook published in the English language in the last 30 years.
Being an Iranian-American — honoring, representing and embodying two cultures that often feel at odds with one another — has always been a tightrope walk for me. This project has felt more significant and personal than any other recipe collection I’ve created.
I’ve sought, more than anything else, to share the taste of my own childhood, which is to say the taste of an Iranian kitchen in America. Even so, I had to break my own heart repeatedly when I chose to leave out many of my favorite dishes , like baghali polo (fava bean rice), tahchin (a savory saffron rice and yogurt cake with layered chicken or lamb) and khoresh-e beh (quince and lamb stew).
A word about terminology: For various personal, political and historical reasons, many Iranians in the West refer to themselves as Persian. “Persian” is both an ethnicity and a language, also known as Farsi, while “Iranian” is a nationality. Not all Persians and Persian-speakers are Iranian, and not all Iranians are Persian. If the distinction leaves you baffled, rest assured that you’re not alone — I’ve spent most of my life confused about it — and for our purposes here, feel free to think of the terms more or less interchangeably.
The task of distilling the entirety of a 2,000-year-old cuisine down to a handful of recipes is a futile one, so think of this list as an invitation to cook rather than a declaration of fact. It’s also an invitation to my childhood home, and to the Iran my mother built for her children out of rice, bread, cheese and herbs.
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 12 ounces lean ground pork
- 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons gochujang sauce (such as Annie Chun's)
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 (8.8-oz.) pkg. precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 lime wedges
- Calories 429
- Fat 17.4g
- Satfat 4g
- Monofat 2.7g
- Polyfat 2.9g
- Protein 23g
- Carbohydrate 49g
- Fiber 5g
- Cholesterol 64mg
- Iron 1mg
- Sodium 532mg
- Calcium 30mg
- Sugars 7g
- Est. added sugars 5g
Fried rice has been a kitchen staple since as early as the Sui Dynasty (589&ndash618 CE) in China. The primary reason for the continued popularity and ubiquity of this dish comes down to two things: its adaptability and the fact that people almost always cook too much rice.
Fried rice is a quick and delicious way to transform leftovers into something delicious! Though we sometimes think of certain ingredients being typical (eggs, garlic) the only thing you need to make fried rice is heat, rice, and oil. Anything else you add is up to you. Before you make a batch though, read our tips for making fried rice.
Sesame oil > any other oil.
Once you buy sesame oil (yes, you do need another oil), you'll want to use it in everything. It's got a rich toasty, nutty flavor. But be careful: A little bit goes a long way.
Cold, Leftover rice is key.
The reason why so many fried rice recipes call for leftover rice: Dried out cold rice gets much crispier in the skillet than the freshly cooked stuff. If you're craving fried rice and don't want to wait for the rice to chill in the fridge, spread freshly cooked rice on a baking sheet and freeze it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Do I need to scramble my eggs separately or can I do it all in one pan?
You can totally start your rice by cooking the vegetables and then push them to one side of the pan and crack in your eggs and get scrambling. But be careful. Eggs can easily overcook this way.
What other flavor goes into fried rice?
Aside from sesame oil, we stir in minced garlic, soy sauce, and ginger.
Can I add other ingredients?
Absolutely! As we said, fried rice is endlessly adaptable. Fry up some bacon and toss in some kimchi and you've got an unreal Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice. Or, add some diced pineapple for a sweet twist on the classic.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!
Editor's Note: This introduction to this recipe was updated on 7/21/20 to include more information about the dish. The recipe title was also changed.