I bought this book on sale at a bookshop which has downsized and only now has one store that I am aware of. I bought it because the word “rice” is the biggest word in the title, and rice is one of my biggest comfort foods. The idea of having an entire book of comfort food was incredibly appealing. The Essential Rice Cookbook features rice recipes from around the world, sweet and savoury, with easy to follow instructions and delicious results. It also appears to be out of print, but available second hand at various places. My copy says it was edited by Zoe Harpham, but apparently there is another edition edited by Wendy Stephens too. My copy matches the art of the book edited by Wendy Stephens – so a book mystery… but you’re here for recipes, so let’s go.
Lemon and Herb Risotto with Fried Mushrooms
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- pinch of saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups risotto rice
- 2 – 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 100g mascarpone cheese
- 30g butter
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 200g small flat mushrooms, cut into thick slices
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pour the stock into a saucepan and add the saffron threads. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and keep at a low simmer.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Add half the lemon zest and half the juice, then add 1/2 cup of the hot stock. Stir constantly over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding more liquid, 1/2 cup at a time until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy; this will take 30 – 40 minutes. (You may not need to use all the stock, or you may need a little extra – every risotto will be slightly different).
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs, parmesan, mascarpone and the remaining lemon zest and lemon juice, then cover ans keep warm.
- To cook the mushrooms, melt the butter and virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushroom slices and vinegar and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Serve the risotto in large bowls topped with the mushrooms. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs, if desired.
Notes on this recipe:
- So cheesy, so delicious, all the noms.
- Though I messed up the timing on this recipe and I had it ready before the other dish.
- This is really easy to make though
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 250g chorizo, cut into 1 cm slices
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 large green capsicum, cut into rough 2cm pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 3 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
- 450g raw prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact (optional)
- 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Put the paprika, basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, oregano, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken thigh pieces and mix to coat the chicken well.
- Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for 5 – 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Add the chicken to the pan in batches and cook over medium heat for 6 – 8 minutes, or until lightly browned, adding a little more oil if necessary. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.
- Add the onion, celery, capsicum, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook over medium heat for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon to lift any sediment from the base of the pan. When the vegetables begin to brown, add the tomato, bay leaves and Tabasco and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan. Add the rice, stir briefly, then pour in the stock. Don’t stir at this point. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and add the prawns, if using them. Cover and leave for 10 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork, season well and stir in the spring onion and parsley.
Notes on this recipe:
- Despite the really long list of ingredients, this dish is actually really simple to make. Just ensure that you have all the ingredients prepared before you start cooking, and then go for it.
- The tabasco (as you’d expect) makes it rather spicy. If you want to reduce the level of spice, reduce the amount of tabasco.
- We will probably make this again
Danish Creamed Rice with Dark Cherry Sauce
- 1 cup short-grained rice
- 1 litre of milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract)
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 1/4 cups cream
- 2 tablespoons whole blanched almonds
Dark cherry sauce
- 3 teaspoons cornflour
- 425g tin stoneless black cherries in syrup
- Put the rice and milk in a saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the mixture is thick and creamy. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice forming lumps and sticking to the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in both the sugars (or sugar and natural vanilla extract). Spoon into a large bowl, cover the top of the rice with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- When the rice is cool, stir to separate the grains. Beat the cream in a bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Fold into the creamed rice. Reserve one whole almond and roughly chop the rest. Refrigerate the rice while preparing the sauce.
- To make the sauce, blend the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Pour the cherries and their juice into a small saucepan, add the cornflour mixture and stir over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from the heat. Spoon the rice into serving bowls and top with the hot sauce.
- Note: This is traditionally served in Denmark for dessert on Christmas Eve. The person who gets the whole almond receives a small gift or token from the host.
Notes on this recipe:
- I had a jar (well I have three) of cherry jam that I made two years ago that didn’t set. I bought a back up jar of tinned cherries anyway just in case my cherry not-jam stuff was not suitable. They were… and this recipe was great.