Friday, July 27, 2007

Spiced Rice

After our chicken class at the Ginger Pig a couple of weeks ago I still had many treats in the freezer. Chris and Karl patiently taught us to bone out the legs and then stuff them, skewer them and tie them with string. We stuffed one pair with ham and cheese and the other with a mousse of minced chicken breast seasoned with chilli, garlic and coriander. We had the spiced legs last night - simply roasted till golden in the oven. They needed accompaniments.

I have a foolscap book into which, a few years ago, I taped the masses of recipes from magazines and newspapers that had been building up. Having started I was convinced that I would continue with this practise as it made finding all the stray bits so easy. I would, from that moment on, be an organised and tidy keeper of recipes and by extension my whole life would be transformed into a neat and orderly existence.

Sadly that's not quite how it turned out. I do still have the foolscap book - it is a bulging mass of loose bits of paper torn from magazines and newspapers interspersed with loose pages stuck with earlier recipes that have come free from the binding over the years. Though it's a mess it is also a treasure trove of ideas and a kind of history of what attracted me, foodwise. Some things I wonder what on earth I was thinking but others are a joy. Some things I have cooked, most I haven't but it's always interesting to leaf through. Some of the bits in there are recipes my mother has written out for me over the years and it was one of these that was seemed to me the perfect pairing with our chicken dinner.

Spiced rice! I remember mum serving it years ago when I was home on a visit and how thrilled she was with how good it tasted, the way that everybody enjoyed it. So I thought it was time to revisit it and see if I could recreate the pleasure.

Spiced Rice

1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tbspn fish sauce
1 cup rice
2 cups water

Melt butter in a large saucepand. Add onion, chilli and cumin seeds and fry gently over a moderate heat for a few minutes till the onion is translucent and the seeds start to pop.

Stir in the fish sauce, rice and water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low as it will go, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand, still covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

And that's it. Quick, simple, elegant and utterly delicious. Much like the style of my mother's cooking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have one of these books too - it is a treasure in it's own way :)