Houston’s best rice dishes use the basic grain in amazing ways


This incredible grain adorns the table of nations on all seven continents (damn it, they even eat it from space) and its versatility allows it to feature prominently in every dish imaginable, from drinks to entrees to desserts. . Rave-worthy rice dishes abound in Houston, but here are a few that we find particularly noteworthy.

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Paella Valencia at the Ousie table.

Courtesy of la table d’Ousie

The Ouisie version of this colorful Spanish delicacy features auburn rice sprinkled with clams, shrimp, chorizo, chicken and green peas. Protein gives rise to layers of salty earth and sea tones, while saffron provides a rich, fragrant underflow. Calling it a “one-pot wonder” is perhaps the most delicious understatement of the year.

Dolmades at eighteen 36.

Dolmades at eighteen 36.

Nirmi Bhakta

The majority of Eighteen 36 customers can walk through the doors with drinks, not dolmades in mind; However, if they taste these grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs, they will come out of it obsessed. Served with a tangy tzatziki sauce and pita wedges, the dolmades show off refreshing onion and lemon notes with olive oil.

While the crab is theoretically the protagonist of this legendary Hong Kong entry, the underlying rice bed inevitably steals the show. Settled alongside the massive crustacean in lotus leaves, the white and yellow rice acts as a sponge for stray crab juices, making it supple, well seasoned, and addicting.

Brasserie du Parc’s risotto is proof that even the most masterful dishes don’t need to rely on meat, as this creamy rice classic is bursting with robust earthy flavors thanks to a generous infusion of seasonal mushrooms. Mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses, as well as more aromatic mushrooms in the form of truffle oil, amplify the starchy richness.

Arroz Negro Con Vegetales Rostizados, Caracol

Arroz Negro con Mariscos in Caracol.

Arroz Negro con Mariscos in Caracol.

Paula murphy

When I want carbohydrates at Caracol, my choice is arroz negro con vegetales rostizados, whose disappointing translation (black rice with grilled vegetables) belies the combination of cereals and garden products. As its name suggests, the rice of an ebony hue forms the base of this plate and its hue intensifies by infiltration in a black bean broth. Huitlacoche, miniature carrots, butternut squash, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and corn bring bursts of colorful lightness that appeal to the palate as well as the eye.

Gyu Nabe at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar.

Gyu Nabe at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar.

Dragana harris

While Tobiuo’s fame may be his terrific selection of sushi, don’t overlook his fondue options, especially the gyu nabe. Crispy rice serves as the base for this starter, surrounded by layers of rib eye, maitake mushrooms and corn. And just when you think the gyu nabe has peaked in delight, what is bursting onto the stage? A sunny egg yolk.

Simplicity can be the height of sophistication, and at Kiran the proof is in the (rice) pudding, or kheer. This dessert porridge only requires milk, sugar, jaggery and rice, but Chef Kiran’s exceptional cooking technique turns these basic ingredients into something magical. The result is a floral and honeyed confectionery, perfectly smooth except for the pleasant disruptive crunch of a sprinkling of pistachios.

Caroline rice “Cacio e Pepe”, Mutiny Wine Room

Caroline Rice "Cacio and Pepe" at Mutiny Wine Room.

Carolina Rice “Cacio e Pepe” at Mutiny Wine Room.

Michel Antoine

In a work of genius, Mutiny Wine Room adapted the Roman cacio e pepe by swapping spaghetti for long-grain golden rice from Carolina. This starch swap results in a more risotto-like consistency, while retaining the tangy pastoral flavors of classic pasta through the inclusion of garlic crisps, pecorino, and a sous vide egg.

While technically listed in the “appetizer” section of the menu, tahdig is the kind of appetizer you want to be the start, middle, and end of your meal because it’s so tasty. These crispy, crunchy cakes produced by scorching rice in the bottom of the pan are thin and plain dandy, but at Darwish only get better with the choice of a side dish of red beans and scallion ghormeh sabzi or stew from split peas gheymeh.

Khichdi seafood, Musaafer

Khichdi seafood in Musaafer.

Khichdi seafood in Musaafer.

Raydon Creative

Khichdi, a South Indian rice and lentil staple, is reinvented at Musaafer, where chef Mayank Istwal uses poni, a special short-grain variety with a high starch content for creaminess. distinctive. These carbs are complemented by equally potent flavors of a symphony of Garlic Lobster, Scallops, Gulf Shrimp and Scallop Milk Foam, each carefully individually spiced to bring out their respective flavors.

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