Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dishes from Discards

Recipes using alternative carbohydrates to potato. This time rice. Rice keeps for years, pref in airtight containers, so always worth buying the largest pack you can find, which are often the cheapest way to buy.

This first recipe begins by making a basic risotto, and then adding more ingredients to turn it into savoury patties. So the risotto part could be turned into a main dish with the addition of maybe some chopped mushrooms, maybe extra made art the time to add the extra for the patties, or just make patties. Your choice.
Cheese and Mustard Risotto Patties: serves 4 (V)
2 oz (50g) butter
4 spring onions, or 2 shallots, finely chopped
12 oz (350g) risotto rice
1 3/4 pt (1 ltr) hot vegetable or chicken stock
3 oz (75g) grated Cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 tblsp grain mustard
2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
4 oz (100g) fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Heat the butter in a pan and fry the onions for 2 minutes then stir in the rice until the grains are glistening. Pour in a little stock to cover and cook/stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding a little stock, stirring until absorbed, until the rice is just tender and the liquid absorbed (you may not need all the stock, or you might need a bit more hot water). Set aside.
When cooled down, stir in the cheese, eggs, mustard, herb and crumbs. Season to taste. Shape into 12 patties. If possible chill for one hour to set the mixture.
To cook, put approx 2 tblsp sunflower or olive oil in a frying pan and cook the patties in batches, allowing five minutes each side, until golden brown and crusty. Serve with salad.

This next dish makes a little lamb mince go a long way. Instead of using individual spices, a tsp or so of a mild to medium curry paste could be stirred in, also use an alternative to courgettes during the winter season, something such as diced butternut squash or even potato. If not fresh mint, stir in a tsp or so of bottled mint sauce.
Lamb Pilau: serves 4
8 oz (225g) long-grain (or basmati) rice
1 tblsp sunflower or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
8 oz (225g) minced lamb
1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/4 pt (700ml) vegetable stock
5 oz (125g) no-soak apricots, sliced
2 courgettes, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
First rinse the rice, strain and set aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion for five minutes, then raise the heat and fry the minced lamb, breaking it up with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. When it has browned, stir in the spices and add 5 fl.oz (quarter pint/150ml) of the stock. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated then stir in the rice, apricots, and chosen vegetable. Add the rest of the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed. Season to taste, stir in the mint and serve.

This next recipe uses best frying steak, but only a small amount as it is cut into thin strips, mixed with a well flavoured rice with an oriental flavour. Allow time to marinate the beef, the longer you allow, the better the flavour. The original recipe used mange-tout peas, but those frozen long french beans (cut in pieces) would make a good substitute. I took the economy route and use standard frozen peas. I see no reason why pork or chicken could not be substituted for the beef. Both would go well with the remaining ingredients.
Chinese Beef with Sticky Rice: serves 4
8 oz (225g) rump steak, cut into thin strips
1 inch (2.5cm) ginger root, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tblsp sherry or rice wine vinegar
2 tblsp runny honey
4 tblsp soy sauce
8 oz (225g) long grain rice
1 oz (25g) creamed coconut
1 pint (575 or 600ml) water
1 tblsp sunflower oil
half pint (225ml) measure frozen peas, thawed
3 carrots, trimmed and cut into matchsticks
half a red bell pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
1 tblsp toasted sesame seeds
Whisk together the sherry, honey and soy sauce and put into a bowl with the ginger and garlic. Add the beef strips, turning until coated. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, longer if possible. Even overnight.
Rinse and drain the rice, then put this into a pan with the coconut and the water, stir and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Set aside whilst cooking the meat.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and when really hot, add the beef (reserving the marinade) and cook for 4 minutes, then stir in the carrots, cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the peas and cook for a further minute. Add the reserved marinade and heat until bubbling.
Serve the rice in individual bowls, topping with the beef and sauce. Garnish by sprinkling over the sesame seeds.