baked rice with brown shrimp
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I promise I could eat rice cooked like this every day, only swapping the ‘bits’ added to it and the seasoning. It’s perfect every time.
I found this recipe while browsing for all things rice; I adore rice but am often puzzled by it. So many varieties and each needs to be cooked differently. Risotto rice, Arborio or Carnaroli, fat and short grains have to be coaxed gently into al dente-ness by stirring the pot forever. Paella rice grain is stocky too but the method couldn’t be more different: once submerged in stock, don’t touch it with a spoon. And then there are the Persians with the elusive tahdig, the rice crust forming – or not, as mostly in my experience – at the bottom of the pan.
Sometimes you should wash it (jasmine) and other times not (glutinous). There are weird ancient methods of cooking by wrapping the pot of rice in a blanket overnight. There is rice pudding even though most of us prefer to deny its existence. And what about rice crispies! Plus there’s basmati, brown, wild and red rice, and you never know how long each variety should be cooked.
That’s why I simply love this method: baking rice in the oven, with or without ‘bits’. Diana Henry’s recipe is the basis here, and the method really is fool proof. It works for white, brown, red and wild rice, the last three just needing slightly longer oven time.
With the ‘bits’, in this instance shrimp, greens and cheese – and let nobody tell you that the three plus rice don’t go with one another – it’s a main course dish. But it can easily be served as a side, sans shrimp, or greens or cheese as you desire. The amount below will then serve four easily.
baked rice with brown shrimpServings: 2Time: 70 minutes
- 150g (¾ cup) basmati rice
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
- ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- juice and zest from ½ lemon
- salt and black pepper
- 450ml (scant 2 cups) hot chicken or vegetable stock
- a handful of frozen peas or chopped mangetout
- 70g (2.5 oz.) cooked peeled brown shrimp
- 1 tbsp. chopped dill
- 2 tbsp. crumbled Stilton cheese
- 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 with a rack set in the middle.
2. Wash the rice until the water runs clear, drain it on a sieve.
3. In a large, ovenproof pan or skillet melt the butter with the oil, add the shallot and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices.
4. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, dill, drained rice, season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Transfer the pan, uncovered, to the oven.
5. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, gently stir the top layer and add the peas, mangetout and the shrimp. Sprinkle with both cheeses and bake for 10 minutes longer.
6. Serve immediately, as a side dish or on its own with green salad. If you’re lucky, a delicious rice crust (soccarat, like in paella) will form around the sides and bottom.