Yellow rice dishes recipes from around the world


Makes about ½ cup

Do not let annatto seeds sizzle too strongly or turn black – the oil will taste bitter. You can reuse the seeds to make a second batch, if you wish.

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons of annatto seeds

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and annatto seeds until the oil is tinted and the seeds begin to sizzle gently, about 2 and a half minutes. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes, and strain. (The oil can be refrigerated in a tightly closed container for up to a month.)

TIP: Sometimes called annatto, annatto seeds (and sometimes powder) are available at stores that sell Latin American ingredients and often on international supermarket shelves. The seeds are used to infuse oil (see accompanying recipe), in which the sofrito and the rice itself are sautéed. You can also buy seasoning sachets that contain annatto.Photography by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

YELLOW RICE TINTED ROCOU LATIN AMERICA WITH UVRES

For 4 people

In this case, “the works” means using a sofrito for flavor and green peas and red peppers for color. You can simplify this dish by omitting any of the items except the onion, or spruce it up by adding chopped green olives and / or capers when you swell the rice.

2 tablespoons of annatto infused oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped cubanelle or green pepper

1 bay leaf

Salt and ground black pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

½ cup canned diced tomatoes, well drained

1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed in several changes of water and drained well

1 2/3 cups low sodium chicken broth, heated

2/3 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup chopped drained peppers (1 4-ounce jar)

2 tablespoons minced green onions or chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil until sparkling. Add the onion, cubanelle or green pepper, bay leaf and ¾ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 40 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are very tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the pan to limit sticking, until well coated with oil and vegetable mixture, about 1 minute. Add the broth, stir and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to very low, cover and simmer undisturbed for 15 minutes. Add the peas, cover and let the rice sit off the heat until the liquid is absorbed and the kernels are tender, about 15 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf; taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and black pepper to taste. Add the peppers and swell the rice to incorporate them as well as the peas. Serve immediately, garnishing with green onions, parsley or cilantro.

VARIATIONS

> Yellow Rice With Saffron

For 4 people

I usually use tomatoes in saffron rice, but it’s also good without them.

Follow the directions for the tinted yellow annatto rice with the works, making the following changes:

1) Replace the annatto infused oil with unsalted butter.

2) Omit the cubanelle or green pepper and garlic (and tomatoes, if desired). Sauté onion and bay leaf until softened, about 4 minutes.

3) Add the rice and cook as directed.

4) Increase the broth to 1¾ cup. In a small bowl, mix 1/8 teaspoon of crushed saffron threads with ¼ cup of heated broth and let stand for 30 seconds. Add the mixture to the pan and continue as directed.

5) Omit the peas and peppers. Garnish with shallots or parsley.

> Yellow Rice With Turmeric, Lemongrass And Coconut Milk

For 4 people

This Indonesian-inspired recipe is delicious with jasmine rice. Bay leaves replace traditional kaffir lime leaves.

Follow the directions for the tinted yellow annatto rice with the works, making the following changes:

1) Replace annatto infused oil with neutral oil.

2) Substitute ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric for the onion, cubanelle pepper, tomatoes and garlic. Sauté the turmeric with the bay leaf for 30 seconds.

3) Along with the rice, add 2 trimmed lemongrass stems (pale inner pits only) and a 1 ½ inch piece of peeled ginger, both crushed, and cook as directed.

4) Replace the broth with 1 cup of hot water and ¾ cup of coconut milk and continue as directed.

5) Omit the peas and peppers. Remove the lemongrass and ginger as well as the bay leaf. Garnish with green onions or cilantro.

> Spicy yellow rice flavored with turmeric

For 4 people

Whole spices are traditional in this Indian-inspired version, but they can be tricky to fish before serving, so I favor the ease of ground spices. Jasmine rice is great here, and if you have ghee or clarified butter, you can substitute it for oil.

Follow the directions for the tinted yellow annatto rice with the works, making the following changes:

1) Replace the annatto infused oil with 1½ tablespoon of neutral oil.

2) Replace the onion, cubanelle or green pepper, garlic and tomatoes with 1 stick of cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon of ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 1/8 of teaspoon of ground cardamom and ground cloves. Brown the spices with the bay leaf for 30 seconds.

3) Add the rice and cook as directed.

4) Replace the broth with 1¾ cup of hot water and continue as directed.

5) Omit the peas and peppers. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaf.

6) Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.

7) Garnish with green onions or parsley.


Adam Ried appears regularly on America’s Test Kitchen. Send your comments to [email protected]


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