Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pa’s Pae-otto Rice with Leaf Salad

Hi welcome to my easy rice recipe. I call it pae-otto  because I cook it like a paella or risotto, though I use a wholegrain brown rice and flavourings of my choice.    
       Pae-ott22062013673o is simply cooking your 
   rice in a flavoured stock, with 
   added vegetables etc. The trick is
   cooking the rice until it has soaked
   up all the stock and is dry and
   cooked but not burnt. 
    Now in Valencia they will tell you that the crust on the paella pan is the best part Winking smile and I like it if not burnt. If you are serving this up to friends and family and you don’t have the credibility of the Valencia paella makers, then you might be best keeping the crust for yourself or leaving it in the pan.
Risotto of course is not cooked as dry as paella and is easier to manage without a crust on the base. It really depends on how you are intending to serve it. I like it dry for serving with salad and it is easier to put on the table for a self serve buffet like this. For an evening dinner I tend more to a moist risotto consistency.

  for the stock:-       
4 tbsp dried mint               
1/2 tsp turmeric                
1/2 tsp ground ginger        
2 tsp dried thyme               
3 star anise                         
 2 bulbs of garlic                 
1 large onion                   
    1 tin chopped tomatoes                    for the rice:-                    
                                               400g wholegrain brown rice
                                                   565g frozen peas and carrots

for the salad:-
400g sweet peppers      
275g cherry tomatoes   
100g fresh watercress   
120g fresh coriander      



First for their invaluable help with vegetable chopping and other preparation my wrists cannot handle, grazie a mia figlia occupato l'utile Breeze e, naturalmente, il mio piccolo ninja cibo, la bella Modeleine Ninja .

    So let’s make a simple stock. Into a heatproof measuring jug first put the herbs and spices, then the pressed garlic and chopped onion and cover with the tin of tomatoes. Stir well. Top up to 1 litre with boiling water from the kettle. Stir well and leave to stand.
    Weigh and wash the rice and put in a large saucepan. Pour the stock over the top and stir thoroughly. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. As the heat builds up in the rice as well as the stock the heat can turned down further.
     After 15 – 20 minutes add the peas and carrots, stir in gently  and turn up the heat again until simmering, then reduce as low as possible while maintaining a simmer. As the liquid is absorbed into the rice, test it.22062013671 If too al dente add a little more boiling water, 100 ml maximum. Depending on whether you are going for a risotto or paella finish depends when you take it out. Wet for risotto or take the cover off and leave to dry on very low heat for my salad pae-otto. When ready torn out into a serving dish.

While the rice is cooking prepare the salad.
Cut the sweet peppers into strips.  Roughly chop the watercress and coriander and throw it all into a large bowl with the tomatoes.
Mix well. You can, of course, add the dressing of your choice, myself I like it naked or with just a light dusting of sea salt or spice, cinnamon perhaps? to preserve it’s modesty Flirt male.

   Now for a buffet or party just put the bowls on the food table and let your guests help themselves. For a smaller gathering serve it up yourself.  Remember to remove the star anise before serving

         And there you have it my friends, simple paella style rice that has soaked up the flavours and colours of the spices and herbs that you use. You can of course try your own combinations, the turmeric gives even brown rice a nice golden colour. Paprika will make it red and give it some heat. Try different rices if you like but remember the amount of liquid as well as cooking time will vary. Variations on which vegetables you add is easy, just remember to allow adequate cooking time is left for them before the rice is ready.
These quantities serve around 6 - 8, depending on appetite.
    This rice can be served hot or cold, it’s easy and tasty and infinitely variable to suit your own tastes. Definitely a recipe worthy of your collection in my humble opinion.
    The salad of course can also be changed, using different leafs depending on season, different peppers for sweetness or heat, different tomatoes for juiciness and different seasonings. Try not to overcomplicate and remember, if you are trying to eat healthily it’s the dressings that contain the baddies mostly.

Have fun with your cooking, play with your food, enjoy what you make and eat what you enjoy.

Love , leaf and life

from Pa