Tag Archives: Rice

Paella with Poblanos, Corn, and Clams

16 May

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3/4 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 pounds littleneck clams
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, poblanos, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add rice and saffron. Cook 2 minutes; stir constantly. Add 2 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper; bring to a boil.
3. Bake at 450° for 50 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in corn and tomatoes. Nestle clams into rice mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until shells open, and discard unopened shells.
4. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and cook without stirring 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and rice browns. (It should smell toasty but not burned.) Top with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

Mark Bittman, Cooking Light , May 2011

I made this paella last night before heading out to watch the bulls wins (!) so I was drinking a sauvignon blanc and managed to burn myself not once or twice but three times on the pot.  Once the pot goes in the oven, keep the mitt on if you are in the habit of holding the handle while stirring your skillet-cooking foods.  Yes, I am an idiot, but hopefully this warning will help others avoid the same finger-burning fate.

The burns were worth every second!  I’ve never had a dish with saffron or poblano that I didn’t like and this was certainly no exception.  I’ve made paellas in the past, but this is hands down my favorite.  The wealth of smoky heat is balanced by the citrus of fresh squeezed lemon pouring from the perfectly cooked clams.  Nothing overpowers here.  The corn adds texture and a nice sweetness.  This dish is perfect for entertaining because the hands-on time is relatively short, but the product is complex and impressive.   Or you can make it for two to spice up an otherwise average Sunday night.

I strongly recommend serving with a light white wine.

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Risotto with Spring Vegetables

27 Apr

2 cups shelled fava beans (about 1 1/2 pounds unshelled)
1/2 cup fresh green peas
4 cups chicken or veggie stock2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup uncooked Carnaroli or Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/2 cup white wine
8 ounces thin asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook beans in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Remove tough outer skins from beans; discard skins. Cook peas in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
2. Bring Homemade Chicken Stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and carrot to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice and saffron; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in fava beans, peas, and asparagus with last addition of stock. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

David Bonom, Cooking Light, May 2010

This risotto is absolutely perfect for those cool, rainy April days we’ve been having in Chicago.  It incorporates plenty of early-spring produce that’s now popping up in local farmers markets, including asparagus, carrots, fava beans, onion and peas.  The white wine and saffron enhance these fresh veggies and the Parmesan adds a nice floral zing.

In case you’re new to the wonderful world of fava beans, as many Americans are, here is a little background.  Fava beans are one of the oldest beans around, originating approximately 3000 BC.  They’ve been a staple in Europe and Asia for centuries, but have remained fairly obscure in the U.S.  As such, there are a little overpriced in our markets, but still doable.  I’ve also found a newfound love of cooking with fava beans because they are so satisfying to shell; the beans are big enough that they don’t get lost in the process and they pop out really easily.  They have a buttery and slightly bitter taste and add quite a bit of texture to this and any other dish.

This is a great weeknight meal but, as with any risotto, be prepared to spend some time hovering over the warm stove.  I’m a major wimp compared those strong Italian women and after cooking risotto my arm is always tired and I’m hot as hell.  No worries, there will be cold white wine at hand.

Golden Green Paella

15 Dec

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces peel & deveined medium shrimp, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup instant brown rice

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces fresh sugar snap pea pods

1 large green sweet pepper, cut in 1/2 pieces

2 green onions, diagonally sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Better Homes & Gardens

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in skillet.  Add shrimp; sprinkle with half the salt and pepper.  Cook 2 minutes until shrimp are opaque, stirring occasionally.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Add remaining oil to skillet.  Cook onion until almost tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute.  Stir in rice, oregano and turmeric; cook and stir 1 minute.  Add broth and remaining salt and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Stir in peas and green pepper; cook 3 minutes.  Stir in green onions and shrimp.  Sprinkle with parsley.

I’ve been making this recipe for quite a while.  It’s quick and easy, yet every bite features a different flavor.  I love the crisp peas with the sweet shrimp.  A classic at my place.  I made this one for my boyfriend and my dad last night and my dad loved it (even though he is the pickiest eater in the world).   I never have instant rice around so I simply cook regular rice until almost tender and use that.  I also used organic vegetable broth and I didn’t think it made much difference.  I would recommend adding crushed red pepper flakes if you’re into the spicy stuff.

Potted Spanish Chicken

7 Dec

1 large dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup white rice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 ribs celery from the heart, chopped

3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinches ground cloves

Salt & Pepper

One 28-ounce can diced or whole fire-roasted tomatoes

4 small pieces bone-in chicken breast, halved crosswise

4 small bone-in chicken drumsticks

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. In a small saucepan, bring the ancho chile and 1 cup chicken stock to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until softened, 10 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups stock and the butter to a boil.  Stir in the rice, cover and simmer for 18 minutes.  Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork.

3. In another large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cloves; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened, 7 or 8 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and heat for 5 minutes.  Transfer the sauce to a food processor, discarding the bay leaves.  Add the soaked ancho and its liquid and process until smooth.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons, olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with sat and pepper, add to the skillet skin side down and cook until browned, 7 to 8 minutes.  Flip over and add the reserved sauce.  Cove and cook the chicken through, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Serve the chicken on therice and top with parsley.

Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009

This is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s hearty and spicy and boasts complex flavors.  It is fairly quick to make although I recommend cooking everything on lower heat to prevent panic while 4 things are cooking on the stove at once.  The only modification I suggest is using my (favorite kitchen tool) immersion blender rather than the food processor for blending the sauce under Step 3.  That way I don’t have to transfer the sauce twice, which always proves dangerous with my butterfingers.   I recommend serving this dish with a side salad or with roasted asparagus.

Be aware, you will use all of your pots (4) on this recipe (see below – me doing the dishes).

Crab and Vegetable Gumbo

1 Dec

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 celery stalk, sliced

2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (16-ounce) package frozen gumbo-blend vegetables

1 cup water

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (8-ounce) container crab claw meat, shells removed

2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add onion and next 7 ingredients (through celery); cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Increase heat to medium-high.  Add chicken broth and vegetable blend.  Combine 1 cup water and flour, stirring well; stir into broth mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 18 minutes.  Add crab, and simmer for 2 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Yield: 4 services

Cooking Light, December 2010

Let me start by saying that I’ve never tried any other gumbo recipe – but my first gumbo was awesome!  This is so easy to make that actually I managed to drink a few beers and play a few rounds of Wii Tennis while this one was cooking.  I love those recipes that you can leave on the stove while you’re enjoying something else, and all the while the smell of your delicious dinner wafts through the house.

It’s incredibly spicy, but the starches of the rice and the sweetness of the crab meat round out the flavors and tame the heat.   This recipe is particularly fun because it leaves a lot of room to experiment and play with the flavors while you’re cooking.  I couldn’t find the frozen gumbo veggie blend so I bought a bag of frozen okra and used that with a half-bag of frozen corn I had left over (I used the whole bag because what on earth was I going to do with a half bag of frozen okra?).  I also chopped up two bell peppers (one red, one green) which I added with the carrots and celery.  I also added quite a bit of extra red pepper (nearly double!) because I had it in my mind that a gumbo should be red (remember the beers mentioned above), but I thought extra the spice was great.