Cuban-style Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

1 lime, cut in half
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped (1 to 1-1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives, sliced
1/2 cup plain tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
12 ounces light (as in pale) beer
2 cups chicken broth
1-1/4 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, rinsed
a baby pinch of saffron threads

Method

  1. Squeeze the juice of both lime halves all over the chicken thighs, then season both sides of the thighs generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit for a couple minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
  2. Drizzle the oil into a Dutch oven or another large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof saucepan and heat over medium heat. Brown the chicken, skin sides down, for 8 to 10 minutes until golden and crisped, and then again for 8 minutes on the meat sides. Transfer them to a plate.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of rendered chicken fat into a heatproof container (for saving or discarding once the fat has cooled) and then dump the onion, bell pepper and garlic into the remaining rendered fat in the pot. Cook until the veggies have softened and the onion is slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, cumin and the bay leaf. Cook, stirring every now and then, for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the beer into the pot. Add the broth, rice, saffron threads and the teaspoon of kosher salt, and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high; bring everything to a boil, then reduce to low.
  6. Barely tuck in those crisped chicken thighs, skin sides up, partially cover the pot and cook low and slow until the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid, 30 minutes.
  7. Toss out the bay leaf and let everything rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Washington Post

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Basmati Rice with Beans in Chili Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp hot chili powder
l tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup hot vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Wash the rice several times under cold running water. Drain and cook in a pan of simmering water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the chili powder and flour into the onion and garlic mixture. Cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Add the kidney beans and hot vegetable stock. Cover and cook gently for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Season the chili sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Drain the rice and serve at once, with the beans and sauce, sprinkled with a little chopped fresh parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Essential Vegetarian

Risotto with Squid and Garlic Butter

Ingredients

8-12 raw baby squid
5 cups fish or chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
5-1/2 oz butter
I small onion, finely chopped
generous 1-3/8 cups risotto rice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
salt and pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Clean the squid, carefully removing and discarding the innards and the membrane lining. Rinse well and pat dry. Dice the larger tentacles. Cut the squid in half lengthwise, then score with a sharp knife, making horizontal and vertical cuts.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  3. Heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a deep pan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until soft and starting to turn golden. Do not brown.
  4. Add the rice and mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  5. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy. Season to taste.
  6. When the risotto is nearly cooked, melt 4 oz of the remaining butter in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, or until soft.
  7. Increase the heat to high, add the squid, and toss to cook. Do this for no more than 2-3 minutes or the squid will become tough. Remove the squid from the skillet, draining carefully and reserving the garlic butter.
  8. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the Parmesan until it melts. Spoon the risotto onto warmed serving plates and arrange the squid on top. Spoon some of the garlic butter over each portion. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve at once.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Risotto

Moroccan-style Seafood Pilaff

Ingredients

700 g mixed fresh shellfish e.g. squid, prawns and scallops, cleaned
225 g skinless cod fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
700 g mussels in their shells
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
300 g long grain rice
2-1/2 cups fish stock
1 (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
coriander sprigs and lemon slices, to garnish

Chermoula

4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 fresh red chili, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
15 g fresh coriander
15 g fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil

Method

  1. To make the chermoula, in a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt. Place in a food processor.
  2. Add the lemon juice to the food processor with the cumin, paprika, red chili, coriander and parsley. Process briefly then gradually add the olive oiland reduce to a coarse puree. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cut the squid into 5 mm rings, shell the prawns and halve the scallops. Place the shellfish in a bowl with the cod, add the chermoula and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Scrub the mussels, discarding any open ones. Cover and refrigerate.

  5. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the celery and bell peppers and fry for 3 minutes, then remove and set aside.
  6. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the rice then add the stock.
  7. Drain the fish and add the marinade to the pan with the tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  8. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked and the liquid is almost absorbed. Add more stock, if necessary.
  9. Return the celery and bell peppers to the pan. Place the fish and the mussels on top. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the mussels have opened. Discard any unopened mussels. Leave to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve, garnished with coriander and lemon.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: The Book of North African Cooking

Tandoori Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
6 cups cooked, hot brown rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage

Sauce

1 cucumber, 12 oz, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Marinade

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

  1. To make the marinade, in a large nonreactive bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cayenne.
  2. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the sweet potatoes in a crisscross pattern about 1/4 inch deep at 1-inch intervals. Add to the bowl with the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing once after 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Coat a large, shallow nonreactive baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Reserving the marinade, arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer in the prepared pan. Bake, brushing with the reserved marinade every 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. To serve, toss the rice with the sage. Divide the rice, sweet potato slices, and sauce among individual plates.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic