Tag Archives: Rice

Chicken Machboos

This recipe is a winner. I’ve modified it slightly so it’s somewhat less dry; otherwise the original is just as good. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 3 large breasts
  • Onions, 2 large, diced
  • Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, sliced or minced
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Jalapeno, 1-2, diced
  • Cilantro, 3 tablespoons, chopped
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Chicken stock, 4 cups
  • Basmati rice, 2 cups
  • Loomi, 2-3
  • Green cardamom, 5 pods
  • Cloves, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick, 1
  • Salt, 2½ teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Baharat, 1 tablespoon
  • Rosewater for sprinkling
  • Ghee, 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Again, some of these ingredients may be hard to find. This is rosewater, and you can find it online, though you may also be able to find it at your local Asian market.

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Rose water.

These are loomi; again, they can be found online, or at your local spice merchant.

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Loomi

Finally, this is baharat, a spice mixture. If you’re so inclined, you can try making it yourself, but as you can see, I bought mine.

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Baharat.

First, do some frying: heat the oil, and brown the chicken on both sides, then remove.

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Browning.

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Golden.

Next, add the ghee to the oil that remains and fry the onions until they start to brown.

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Ghee, pre-melt.

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Onions, pre-brown.

You can use this time to prep the next ingredients – the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Then add them to the pot and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

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Three ingredients.

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Added to the pot.

Then add more stuff – the baharat and turmeric, to be exact – and cook for another minute or two.

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Spices added.

Now the chicken goes back in, along with a few other choice ingredients: the tomatoes, loomi, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and chicken stock. Make sure you perforate the loomi with innumerable holes before you plunk them in; a knife will do fine.

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More stuff goes in.

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And the chicken broth, too.

Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer, covered, for an hour or so. Meanwhile, you can prep the cilantro, parsley, and the rice. Make sure that you soak the rice in water for at least 20 minutes.

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Rice is nice.

When the pot is done simmering, you should simmer it some more – but this time, with the rice and the herbs added to the pot. Let it alone for another 20 minutes, so that the rice has time to soak up the liquid.

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Post-simmer AND pre-simmer.

Finally, sprinkle with the rosewater, which is optional but recommended. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough, but feel free to adjust to your own liking.

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Voila.

You can also shred the chicken if you want; it’ll probably end up that way anyway: it’s so tender it tends to fall apart. And it’s delicious. Highly recommended!

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Beef Biryani

Oh, woe is me, this was such a bland recipe. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2.5 pounds, cubed
  • Onions, 4 large
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and chopped
  • Jalapeno, 2, chopped
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch
  • Almonds, 8 tablespoons
  • Water, 6 tablespoons
  • Ghee, 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, 2 good pinches
  • Yogurt, plain, 1.5 cups
  • Basmati rice, 3 cups
  • Chicken stock, 10 cups
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

It took a while to make, too – though I do have a few ideas for how it could be improved.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to blend! Roughly chop two of the onions, and combine them with the cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, ginger, water, and half the almonds.

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Blending can be fun.

Blend to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

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The aftermath.

Next, heat half the ghee with half the oil and fry the rest of the onion (after you slice it, of course) until it’s golden brown. When it is, transfer to another dish – yes, another one!

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Onions are yummy.

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Browned!

Then fry the remaining almonds briefly until they’re golden, too. Or more golden, at any rate.

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Browning almonds.

Transfer them – yes, you guessed it – to another plate, and then start searing the meat, in batches. Add more oil/ghee if you need to.

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Browning meat.

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The meat, seared.

Once all the meat is browned and moved out of the way – perhaps to another plate – you can put the blended mixture into the pot, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in all the additional spices, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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Re-heating the blended mixture.

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Plus spices.

Next, lower the heat and slowly mix in the yogurt. Then return the meat to the pot, cover it tightly, and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.

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Simmer.

Meanwhile, you can begin working on the other part of the biryani mixture – the rice. You should soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes, and begun heating your chicken broth.

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Chicken broth!

Heat to a boil, then add the rice (along with a little salt) and bring it back to a boil. Then cover and cook for 5 minutes.

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With rice!

After that, it’ll look like this: the chicken broth has magically disappeared, and the rice got a lot bigger. I wonder what happened?

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And now, just rice.

Add the rice to your chicken mixture (I used a slow cooker because I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough), and add the onions and almonds as well. Cover securely, and bake on high for about an hour (or 45 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325).

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Biryani-ing.

Voila! It can be spruced up with more spices – in particular, more salt and cayenne – as well as some fried eggs and possibly some Sriracha.

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The finished product.

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Crab Fried Rice

Oh my goodness, this was good. The ingredients:

  • Crab meat, 1-2 cups
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Maggi seasoning, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 3/8 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • 1 diced scallion
  • 1-2 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 sliced cucumber, peeled
  • 5 thai chilies, diced (this is hot. You may prefer fewer)
  • cilantro leaves to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
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The ingredients.

Your first step really should be to start the rice, since it can take a while. I use a rice cooker, but you do you.

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I love my rice cooker.

You may also want to prepare a few other ingredients.

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The eggs.

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The crab. You may want to sort through this just to make sure there’s no shell in it.

I used a wok, because its size was so well-suited to the volume of the dish, but you don’t have to. In any case, heat some oil in the wok and stir-fry the crab, garlic, and eggs together until the eggs have been cooked.

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Apply heat.

Next, add a few other things: the cooked rice, the Maggi seasoning, the fish sauce, and the sugar. Mix it all together and cook until everything is hot.

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Add the rice.

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And then a few other things.

Next, add the lemon juice (to taste) and the thai chili peppers (to taste).

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Thai chilies can be hot.

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But tasty, though.

The rest of the ingredients don’t need to cook thoroughly – in fact having them relatively uncooked (even cold) can be kind of nice. Especially if you added a lot of chili heat, as I did.

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Scallions are sometimes referred to as green onions.

So go ahead and add the scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro.

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Adding things, adding things.

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Adding things, adding things.

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I want to make this again now.

Then mix it together, and enjoy!

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Pork Fried Rice

This is another one of the recipes from the Thai cookbook I’m working through. The ingredients are:

  • Pork (1 pound, sliced)
  • Onion (1, sliced)
  • Tomato (1, diced)
  • Scallions (1 bunch)
  • Eggs (4, scrambled)
  • Garlic (4 cloves, minced)
  • Sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • Soy sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • Fish sauce (1/2 cup)
  • White pepper (1 teaspoon, ground)
  • Rice (3 cups)

Optionally, you can also add cayenne pepper (as I did) or sliced jalapeno pepper, for heat; cilantro; cucumber slices, etc.

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The ingredients

The first step is to slice up the pork, which can be easier when it’s frozen.

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Slicing pork.

You’ll also want to slice up the onions, tomatoes, and scallions.

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Slicing other forms of nutrition.

You can beat the eggs, too, to get ready.

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These eggs weren’t exactly sliced.

Heat a wok on medium-high heat, add the pork slices and garlic, and cook until the meat is nearly done.

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Now the cooking part.

Meanwhile, you can keep assembling your spices – the sugar, pepper, soy sauce, and fish oil can all go together.

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Sugar and pepper…

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…plus fish oil and soy sauce.

When the meat is cooked, add the eggs, and when they’re done, add in the rest of your ingredients – the onions and tomatoes; the sauce mixture; the rice.

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Adding the eggs.

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Adding in the rest.

I also added cayenne pepper for some extra heat.

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A bit of heat.

And voila! You’re all done.

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The end result.

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Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John is a traditionally southern dish that’s often made to celebrate the New Year. It’s also delicious. The ingredients are:

  • Black-eyed peas (1 pound)
  • Rice (3 cups)
  • Collard greens or kale (1-2 bunches)
  • Bacon (half pound or so)
  • Onions (3 large, diced)
  • Garlic (1 head or so, minced)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
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The ingredients

The black-eyed peas require special attention. If you don’t soften them up enough, they’ll be somewhat crunchy, and the whole dish will be less pleasant.

So you may want to start by soaking them for an hour, and then rinsing them. But the key thing is to cook them well. Place them in a pot, cover them with water, and boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes at least, and then let them stand in the hot water for another hour, before straining them out and rinsing them in cold water.

 

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Before boiling.

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After boiling. Don’t be worried about the detritus that collects at the top; just skim it off.

You should also make 3 cups of rice; I use a rice cooker.

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Rice-making

Cut the bacon into smallish pieces, and cook until crispy, then remove from the pan.

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Bacon-cutting.

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Bacon-cooking.

Leave the bacon grease in the pan. It’s the grease that lend its flavor the rest of the dish.

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Onion-cooking.

First, fry up the onions until soft. Then add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute or two.

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The garlic, pre-mincing.

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With the garlic and pepper flakes added.

Then shred up the greens and add them to the pot. They’ll cook down and become tender in the grease.

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The shredded greens will…

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…cook down.

This is then the time to strain, rinse, and add the beans to the pot, as well as the rice.

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Bean-straining.

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Rice-adding.

Mix it all together, and season to taste with the salt and pepper, and you’re done!

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Yum

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Aljotta (Maltese Fish Stew)

I love this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the years, and if it weren’t so expensive to make, I’d make it more often. Why is it expensive? The ingredients are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, peeled & minced)
  • Diced tomatoes (1 large can)
  • Fish stock
  • Basil leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Mint leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Marjoram leaves (6 springs, shredded)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rice (2 cups, cooked)
  • Fish (1-2 lbs)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)

Neither fish (something like cod, haddock, or tilapia works well here) nor fish stock are cheap. I’ve found that seafood stock is inferior to actual fish stock (if you can find it) and in either case, it’s hard to buy enough to avoid having to supplement the stew with some amount of water. But if money is no issue for you, just use fish stock.

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The ingredients.

The place to start is with a simple, empty pot. Then add the oil.

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Heating the oil.

Add onions and garlic and fry in the oil until soft.

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Cooking down the onions and garlic.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, and then the fish stock (if need be, you can supplement with fish bouillon, but I never have).

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Add the tomatoes…

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…and then the fish stock.

Next, tear basil and mint leaves into pieces, then add to saucepan with marjoram leaves.

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Green stuff!

The next ingredient is the fish, cut however you like (I do cubes).

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Fish!

Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice. It’ll expand even further in the stew, so (depending on how much broth you like) you may want to add more water in.

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Rice!

Finally, season the stew with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I usually use at least a tablespoon of each, and often more. But they’re all to taste, so you’ll need to decide for yourself : -)

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The finished product – enjoy!

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Ryan’s Chicken Soup

My chicken soup – perhaps like yours – often varies, but this is what it was like the last time I made it:

  • Chicken stock (2-3 boxes)
  • Rice (2 cups)
  • Chicken
  • Carrots (8-10)
  • Celery
  • Onion (1-2)
  • Garlic (whole head)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

You can use bouillon if you prefer, but I like using actual chicken stock. And I’ll use chicken stock from the store when need be, but this stock happens to come from the carcass of a chicken. I’m not privy to the process – my partner did that part – but the essence is basic: you put the carcass and veggies in a crockpot and let it do its thing. How much you use is again up to you – when I use boxes, I usually add two or three.

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The broth.

Sometimes I make my chicken soup with potatoes, or with egg noodles, but recently I’ve enjoyed using rice. First you make the rice – I have a rice cooker for that – and then you add it to the pot. I made about two cups.

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The rice.

These are the rest of the ingredients. The chicken comes from the remains of the roast chicken, just scraps removed from the carcass before it went in the crockpot.

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The ingredients.

I like to use a good number of carrots- say 8-10 – and they should go in first because they’ll take longer to soften up.

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The carrots.

Then the chopped onion and celery. Together, the three are called mirepoix, and you can buy them pre-chopped at the grocery store. But I never have, both because it’s more expensive and because it tastes better when you chop them up yourself.

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The onion.

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The celery.

Dump stuff in as you chop it. The rice you should add when it’s cooked, and the chicken you can add whenever you like, because it’s already been roasted. If you’re making this with raw chicken, you should obviously add it first, so it has time to cook.

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The black pepper.

Then the salt and pepper. You can see the pepper I added here, floating on the top. I like to add a good bit of pepper to give the soup a kick, but the salt and pepper you add should be to taste.

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Yum.

And the final result – enjoy!

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