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Rice rises to the occasion - recipes

RED RICE AND CHICKEN SALAD

Serves 4 to 6

Ccoconut and banana rice pudding. Picture: Matthews BaloyiChicken and pea pilaf. Picture: Matthews BaloyiNachos rice salad. Picture: Matthews BaloyiMushroom and ricotta risotto. Picture: Matthews BaloyiRed rice and chicken salad: Picture: Matthews Baloyi

250ml red rice*

500ml water

5ml salt

DRESSING

zest and juice of 2 lemons

60ml olive oil

10-15ml honey

5ml Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

500ml rotisserie chicken, shredded

50g almonds, toasted and chopped

1 medium cucumber, deseeded and cut into diagonal pieces

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

100g feta cheese, crumbled

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

baby gem lettuce, for serving

Boil the rice in plenty of salted water until just cooked, about 30 minutes. Rinse briefly, then drain.

Pour the dressing over the warm rice.

DRESSING: Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, honey and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the chicken, almonds, cucumber, spring onions, feta and pomegranate rubies with the rice. Mix well.

Arrange lettuce on a serving platter and top with the rice. Sprinkle with extra pomegranate rubies.

COCONUT AND BANANA RICE PUDDING

400ml tin of coconut milk

500ml milk

250ml jasmine rice

3ml salt

100ml castor sugar

50g butter

2 to 4 bananas, sliced and covered with lime juice

50g flaked almonds, toasted

Put the coconut milk and milk into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add in the rice and salt.

Reduce heat and simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until milk is absorbed and mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in sugar and butter. Add the bananas, reserving a few for decoration.

Spoon into serving dishes and top with slices of banana and toasted almonds.

Serve immediately.

MUSHROOM AND RICOTTA RISOTTO

Serves 6

60ml olive oil plus 30ml extra

30g butter

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g exotic mushrooms, sliced

200g button mushrooms, halved

4 baby brinjal, cut into 1cm rounds

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

1 onion, finely chopped

375ml Arborio rice

125ml white wine

125ml sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

125ml grated Parmesan

125g fresh ricotta, crumbled

60ml finely shredded fresh basil leaves

Heat 30ml oil and all the butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until tender. Remove and set aside.

Add 30ml oil to the pan and fry the brinjal slices until golden. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Place stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until needed.

Heat the extra 30ml olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and fry until softened.

Add rice and stir until well coated, about two minutes. Add the wine and boil until the wine has been absorbed, about a minute.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and 250ml of the heated stock. Cook, stirring, until the stock has been absorbed.

Repeat with the remaining stock, adding 250ml at a time, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender and creamy.

Stir in the mushrooms and brinjals. Add the Parmesan, ricotta and basil and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.

NACHOS RICE SALAD

Serves 6 to 8

250ml brown rice

30ml olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

10ml chilli powder

5ml dried oregano

10ml ground cumin

410g tin of sweetcorn kernels, drained

4 large tomatoes, diced

400g tin of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 red onion, finely chopped

125ml chopped coriander

250ml grated mature cheddar cheese

2 avocados, diced and combined with 30ml lime juice

1 packet of corn nachos

sour cream, for serving

1 jar of ready-made salsa, for serving

Cook the rice in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Set aside in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, spices and salt and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the sweetcorn and half the diced tomatoes. Fry for a few minutes.

Remove and add to the rice.

Add the remaining fresh tomatoes, kidney beans, red onion, coriander, cheese and avocados to the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Layer the corn nachos on a serving plate. Pile rice salad on the nachos.

Dollop with a spoonful of sour cream and salsa.

CHICKEN AND PEA PILAF

5ml chopped garlic

15ml finely grated ginger

1 long green chilli, seeded and finely chopped

10ml ground coriander

5ml cumin seeds

375ml brown basmati rice

500g chicken, cooked and shredded

800ml chicken stock

250ml frozen peas

60ml chopped coriander

60ml chopped mint

125ml toasted flaked almonds

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry until onion softens.

Add the spices and salt and fry until fragrant.

Add the rice and chicken and stir to combine.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Stir in the peas and heat for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs and half the flaked almonds.

Use a fork to fluff the rice. Serve garnished with extra toasted flaked almonds.

Angela Day, The Star

Pictures: Matthews Baloyi, Independent Newspapers

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