Asparagus risotto with Parmesan crackers. Making a good risotto is tricky: the proportion of liquid to rice; when to add on the add-ons; how to score the precise result between tough grains and a slop bucket; whether to use a wooden spoon or a whisk in the absence of the magical girariso and how much butter it REALLY needs.
My baked rice pilaf is a veggie dish, with three kinds of mushrooms just for variety; and because there aren’t many things that can’t be improved with dried porcini flavour.
A simple vegetarian dish of brown rice with mushrooms. Brown rice with brown mushrooms is not going to win me any photographic awards, that’s for sure. There’s no denying the fact that it’s brown - completely and utterly.
Oven baked chicken rice pilaf is an easy dinner: a one pot casserole ready in total of forty-five minutes. Chicken never lets you down, right?
Crispy rice with chorizo and mushrooms blasted under the grill for super-crunchy breadcrumb and Parmesan topping. A dish based on the paella theme but ten times easier.
Tomato rice with crispy cheese topping can be made with leftover rice. Spiced up with tomato and chilli, flashed under the grill, ready in 40 minutes even boiled from scratch.
Smoked mackerel and prawn kedgeree. Haddock seems too much of a northern fish to go into a dish of Indian of origin so I’ve replaced it with hot smoked mackerel. Breakfast? I don’t know but it’s an excellent lunch dish and a brilliant starter.
Mexican rice, arroz rojo, with peas and carrots. Pilaf is a cooking method and Mexican rice is cooked that way. It’s basically giving the rice a head start in hot oil with aromatics of choice, before you deluge it with water, stock or milk and leave to its own devices for half an hour or so.
Mushroom risotto made with dried, rehydrated porcini and masses of Parmesan and butter is a royal feast. I love it just with a green salad.
Oven baked arancini, mushroom risotto balls filled with prosciutto and mozzarella. It’s the starter you wish was a main. It’s the leftovers dish that’s better than the original.
Paella mixta, chicken and shrimp with crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan and incomparable flavour throughout. I am feeling quite pleased with myself as I’ve just read that paella is one of the top most difficult dishes to make at home.
Persian baked rice with courgettes and mushrooms, and crispy tahdig layer at the bottom. I didn’t half struggle to achieve tahdig in my Persian style rice.
Persian rice with broad beans, baghali polo, is fragrant, green and yellow with dill and saffron. It’s a classic Iranian side dish for lamb shanks but who cares about lamb? Baghali polo is all you will want.
Scottish smoked haddock known as Arbroath smokie in a rice pilaf with Middle Eastern flavours. Pilaf is the way of cooking rice initially in a little hot oil before it is boiled in stock or plain water.
One skillet dish of rice with corn and chorizo sausage. We have a fine dish here, which, if you follow the method, can be varied as you wish.
Cabbage rolls stuffed with a pork mince and rice filling, baked in simple tomato sauce – that’s Polish golabki; the ultimate comfort dish.
Vegetable egg fried rice, the best homemade takeaway. Fried rice is a freewheeling recipe: anything you fancy goes. Those tiny dried shrimp - gorgeous. Just scallions and beansprouts - why not?
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