Look! A Ri/Ce!

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One of my work colleagues dug up a screen saver of something he thought would specifically make me laugh, which was the AC/DC band logo reworked as:

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Highway to Look, a Squirrel!

Not sure what he means by this, I’m sure I’m a paragon of calm serenity and Buddhist focus at work. Okay there was that discussion of the effect of large collections of kitsch garden gnomes on the male libido. But it was all done….mindfully I assure you.

I decided I didn’t have enough washing-up to do, so decided to make two rice dishes simultaneously tonight in order to add that authentic precariously-heaped-mountain-of-crockery-and-now-I’ve-run-out-of-bloody-spoons vibe to the kitchen. One a soothing but spicy pilaf main dish, the other a “brunch” according to the original recipe, although to be fair I think it’s a brunch for someone who’s much more awake mid-morning at the weekend than I am…..

Originals can be found here:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/07/rice-cakes-leeks-egg-vegetarian-ottolenghi
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/11/brown-rice-carrow-cashew-vegetarian-pilau-recipe-nigel-slater

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Rice Cakes & Leek Sauce
Spice mix of two parts turmeric to one part mustard powder
Cooked white rice
3 Sheets of emmental, cubed (or other cheese)
Olive oil
One large leek, peeled and sliced into small pieces
Vegetable stock
Low fat plain yogurt
Large spoonful soft cheese
Pinch chickpea flour
Tarragon
2 eggs, beaten

Fry the leeks in olive oil for a few minutes at high.
Mix the yogurt and soft cheese, and add a pinch of chickpea flour (I’m told this stops it curdling when cooked – so far so good!).
Add the yogurt mix, the stock and generous amount of black pepper, simmer for around 10-15 minutes.
Salt to taste, and mix in a little tarragon.
Mix the saffron (or turmeric & mustard) with a small amount of warm water.
Mix with the rice, the cheese and the beaten egg.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan, and add small pats of the rice mixture, flatten with the back of a wooden spoon or fish slice.
Fry on each side at a medium heat for around 4 minutes, until golden.
Drain on kitchen towel to remove excess oil, and then serve with the leek sauce on the side.

(The original recipe suggests topping with a fried egg – this sounds good, also possibly large sliced grilled tomatoes, or fried mushrooms).

Carrot & Cashew Pilaf
You can make this with brown rice (the original recipe suggests doing so, I tried it and found it a little chewy although the pilaf was tasty overall – perhaps next time with white rice and mushrooms instead?).

Medium carrot, diced
Two spring onions, chopped finely.
Three whole cloves
Coriander
Garam masala
Unsalted cashews
Butter
Vegetable stock
Salt

Lightly fry the diced carrots and spring onions in a wok for a few minutes.
Add the cloves, coriander and garam masala.
Add the rice, and the stock.
Bring to the boil, season with salt and cover with a lid.
Simmer until rice tender and liquid nearly gone.
Leave to sit for a few minutes, and dry fry the cashews in a frying pan for a few minutes.
Mix the butter and the cashews into the pilaf with a fork, until butter melted, then serve.

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