Monday, October 03, 2011

Creole Rice a la Provencale-La Cuisine

One thing I've taken from Raymond Oliver is that there are numerous ways to prepare rice, and some recipes do better with a particular technique. In the past, I would have dismissed this, but after making several of his rice-based dishes, I have come to an appreciation of this detail. Steamed rice is not the same as boiled rice, or boiled and steamed rice, or boiled and baked rice, or rice coated in oil and fried before steaming, etc. The texture of this dish would have been unpleasant prepared with the steamed/absorbed water method. As someone who grew up eating Minute Rice, and basically, liking it, I can assure you I'm not even close to fanatical about rice. Some people are really hung up on on their rice. That said, I'd encourage you to try this slightly different approach to something you've probably made a standard way for years. I wouldn't have you bother if I thought the results were marginally different, but I really do feel it helped the rice hold up to the vegetables and sauce.

I served this on a large platter, and it really looked spectacular. I should have taken photos. The one addition I went for, not in the recipe was some pan-seared veggie Chorizzo sausages cut-up in the rice. I felt that elevated it from a side dish to a main course.

For The Rice:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Wash rice in cold water and rinse several times. Drain. Place into a large pot of boiling, salted water. Stir to prevent sticking and boil 12 minutes. While it boils, prepare a kettle of boiling water.
Drain rice and rinse with cold water to remove extra starch. Rinse with boiling water to heat it back up. Drain. Stop looking at me that way-I know this sounds odd.

Put rice in a casserole dish and cook it, uncovered in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until dry and fluffy. You can fluff it with a fork. Go on, you know you want to.

Keep warm until vegetables are cooked.

You Will Need:

2 onions, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 small, sweet bell peppers, charred, scraped, and skinned (do this ahead if possible)
4 anchovy fillets, drained
2 hard cooked eggs, quartered
1 tablespoon capers
1 sour pickle, sliced (I omitted this)
8 Green olives, pitted
2 tablespoons minced Fines Herbes

Cook the onions in a large pot in the olive oil until golden. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add ginger and tomatoes and simmer, covered over low heat. Add cooked rice and mix well. Put rice mixture in a heated serving dish. Garnish rice with anchovies, eggs, capers, pickle and olives. Sprinkle with fines herbes. Serve immediately.

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