Tag Archives: Rice

Recipe: Braised Rice Pilaf

Braised Rice Pilaf
Braised Rice Pilaff

Ingredients;


50g butter
25g onion, chopped
100g long grain white rice
200ml chicken stock
A pinch of turmeric


Place half the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, cook gently over a low heat for 2-3 minutes without colouring. Then add the rice and turmeric and stir well.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes without colouring, and add twice the amount of stock to rice.

Season and cover with a lid, then bring to the boil and transfer in a covered oven -proof dish to a hot oven (230C) for approx. 15 minutes until cooked.

Remove immediately and transfer to a cold saucepan, carefully mix in the remaining butter, correct the seasoning and serve.

Recipe: Rice Krispie Squares

Rice Krispie Squares
Rice Krispie Squares

Ingredients;

5 oz butter, chopped into chunks
5 Mars bars, chopped into roughly 1cm slices
5 mugs of Rice Krispies
500g Chocolate (mix of dark & milk)


Line a large baking tin with overlapping pieces of clingfilm, ensuring that all parts of the interior are covered.

Place the butter and sliced Mars bars in a large Pyrex (glass) bowl and place this into a suitably-sized saucepan (the bowl should not touch the bottom, and leave space for 2 inches of water). Bring the water to a strong simmer and melt the butter & Mars bars, stirring occasionally. Once it has all melted, stir continuously until the the melted butter is absorbed into the rest – be patient, it will “come together” eventually.

Lift the bowl off the saucepan and add in 5 mugfuls of Rice Krispies. Stir this well, but gently, until all the Rice Krispies are coated and no lumps of the melted mixture remain. Pour / spoon into your baking tin and gently smooth out until even.

Wash your Pyrex bowl, dry and place back on the saucepan of water. Break up the chocolate into the bowl and melt over simmering water. Once melted and smooth, pour over the Rice Krispies. It’s best to use a soft spatula so that you can scrape out as much of the chocolate as possible. Tip the baking tray back and forward until the base layer is evenly covered.

Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place to set (varies from 2 – 24 hours, dependent on season/temperature). Do NOT refrigerate as this will make the Rice Krispie layer go soggy.

Cut with a sharp knife and store in an air tight container (old biscuit tins are perfect), will keep for up to 7 days – but I bet they won’t last that long!

Risotto

As the nights start to get shorter in autumn, my cooking style changes dramatically. Out go the salads, pastas and lighter meals of summer and in come the thick, heart-warming dishes of winter. I tend to find cooking very therapeutic, and love nothing more than spending 10 or 20 minutes peeling, chopping and preparing veg for a delicious stew or risotto. You get into your own rhythm when doing this, and once practiced, you can do it without thinking, which gives me time to reflect on my day and clear my mind.

Cooking the risotto rice
Image by VancityAllie via Flickr

Of all the winter dishes I cook, risotto is one of my favourites. It’s a true Italian peasant classic, a way of turning a small amount of food into a dish that feeds many people – and extremely cheap to make, which is perfect in the current recession. The only ingredient that is any way “out of the ordinary” is the risotto rice – which is now stocked by all of the major supermarket chains, and I’ve even seen it in some of the larger ‘corner shops’ lately.

Risotto takes time, but once you’ve cooked it once or twice it won’t tie up a lot of your attention, so it’s a great method of relaxing into your evening. It’s also incredibly tasty and super simple – so don’t be scared of trying to cook it!

The recipe I’m giving here serves about 6 people, as this is usually the quantity I make in one go. If there’s only the two of us in the house, then we eat it over a couple of days, re-heating it in the microwave for about 2 mins, with a sheet of kitchen roll on top to stop it spitting everywhere. It’s also really versatile, as you don’t have to add your toppings to the main pan of risotto, but can simply place them on top of a portion in a bowl – which means that you can vary the taste and not feel like you are eating the same meal three times in a row!