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Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Currants and Nuts

June 29th, 2007 | 10 Comments »


Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants

1 ¼ c. basmati rice
2 ½ c. water
¼ t. saffron threads
1 T. milk or cream
1/8 c. canola oil or ghee
A 2-inch cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods, pounded in a bowl or pestle to open the shells
A 1-ince piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ c. dried currants
¼ c. chopped roasted almonds
¼ c. pistachios, shelled and chopped
¼ c. sugar

Combine rice and water in medium bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving water, and set rice aside.
Gently crush saffron threads in small bowl with back of spoon. Stir in milk and mix gently. Set aside.
Combine oil or ghee, cinnamon stick, cardamom and ginger in medium, heavy bottom pan (with a cover) over medium high heat, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in currants and nuts and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat and cook for 1-3 minutes. Pour in reserved water, stir and bring to a high simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle rice evenly with sugar, then drizzle saffron/milk mix over the top. Cover pan again, and on very low heat, cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice to rest 10-15 minutes. Serve hot garnished with fresh toasted nuts if desired.

Poblano Rice with Vegetables

September 18th, 2006 | 3 Comments »

Poblano Rice with Vegetables

2 fresh poblano peppers
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. milk
2 c. long grain rice
2 t. cooking oil
2 c. chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped carrot (or equiv. of shredded)
2 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper to taste
1 Bay leaf

Halve seed and core the poblano peppers, rub with oil and broil until skins are blistered. Place peppers in bowl and cover to steam. When cooled completely, remove skins and chop.

Rinse corn under cool water to thaw slightly, and then place corn and milk in blender and process until smooth, set aside. In a large skillet with a tight lid, sauté onion in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, carrot and peppers, sauté another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove vegetables to bowl. Add rice to pan and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add in vegetables and stir to combine. Slowly pour in corn/milk mix, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer, covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir to fluff. Remove bay leaf before serving.

The original of this recipe came from AllRecipes.com but has undergone the Extreme Recipe Makeover edition in my kitchen, as most recipes do when they get in my eager little hands. There are a few critical steps to this recipe that really add to the final taste that shouldn’t be skipped, namely the pepper roasting and the corn and milk mixture. It may add a bit of extra time, but the final result is worth it. You can alter the amount of rice to suit your needs, but make sure as a rule that you double the liquid, using the corn/milk mix as part of that. The added veggies can be suited to your tastes as well. These are from the original recipe, I have subbed shredded carrot for the diced with good results.