Italian rice cake and spiced chicken: rice recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi | Food


I hard to write about rice without using the word “versatile”. It’s overused, I know, but all the different kinds of rice and the ways it can be cooked and eaten never cease to amaze me. I like it plain and steamed, like a sideshow. I love it maybe even more, though, when it’s the show itself, with a full cast of other ingredients and absorbing the flavors it shares the pot with. To showcase its versatility, here are two recipes, one sweet, the other savory, one using short grain rice and the other long grain, as well as a tangy salad to serve with all kinds of rice dishes.

Italian rice cake

This is inspired by the sweet rice cakes so popular in northern Italy. In this version, Basque cheesecake meets rice pudding, in which a creamy and fragrant rice cake is tender and scorched on top. It’s best served at room temperature, so if you’ve made it ahead and stored in the fridge, take it out about an hour before serving, so it doesn’t get refrigerated.

Preperation 10 minutes
to cook 1h5 minutes
Costs 2 hoursr 30 minutes
Serves 8

1 liter of whole milk
ml double cream
200g of arborio rice
2 vanilla pods
, split, seeds scraped and pods reserved
2 lemons, skin finely shaved to obtain 10 strips
1 small orange, skin finely shaved to obtain 4 strips
175 g caster sugar
, for lubrication
5 eggs, 2 whole, the rest separated to make 3 yolks (save the whites for another use – I will be chronicling the use of egg whites next month, so watch this space)
2 teaspoons of tapioca starch

Combine the first six ingredients in a large saucepan, add 110 g of sugar and a third of a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it begins to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring regularly, for 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the milk is thick and creamy. It will seem that there is still a lot of liquid, but the rice will continue to absorb it as it cools. Let the rice cool, stirring occasionally for about an hour, until it is lukewarm, then remove and discard the vanilla pods.

Preheat the oven to 220 ° C (200 ° C fan) / 425 ° F / gas 7. Butter and line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm round loaf pan.

Put the two whole eggs, the three egg yolks and 50 g of sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk in place, add the starch, then beat on medium-high speed for three minutes, until frothy. and triple in volume. Stir the egg mixture into the rice in the pot until it is completely incorporated (you don’t have to be too soft here, as it will take a few turns to mix it completely), then pour into the jacketed mold.

Sprinkle the remaining 15g of sugar on top of the cake, bake for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat but leave the cake inside for another 20 minutes. Take out and let cool for about an hour and a half, until it is at room temperature, then cut into thick wedges and serve.

Chilli Chicken and Dill Yogurt Rice

Yotam Ottolenghi pepper chicken and dill and yoghurt rice.

Flavorful chicken dishes are my definition of comfort. This one pairs particularly well with the crunchy cucumber salad below on the face, but any crunchy fresh salad will do.

Preperation 25 minutes
Soak and marinate 1 hour
to cook 1 hour
Serves 4

For the rice
300g of basmati rice
100g butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced ​​(750g)
20g dill, chopped stems and all, plus a few fronds for garnish
5 cloves of garlic (25g), peeled and crushed
20g of thyme, leaves picked, stems discarded
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
3 teaspoons of chilli
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

200g Greek Yogurt

For the chicken
6 skin and bone chicken thighs (850g)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Put the rice in a medium bowl and wash it under cold running water until clear. Cover with cool, cold water, let soak for an hour, then drain.

Meanwhile, put the chicken in a large bowl with the lemon juice, garlic, half a tablespoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, toss to coat, then marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes at one o’clock.

Put a large sauté pan with a lid on medium-high heat and, once hot, add the butter and olive oil, and melt. Add the onions, chopped dill, garlic, thyme leaves and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and browned.

Transfer about 100g of the onion mixture to a bowl, then add the pine nuts, allspice and cinnamon to the remaining onions in the pan and cook, stirring, for another two minutes.

Combine the drained rice and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt in the pot of onions, then pour 375 ml of boiling water. Mix, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice steam gently, still covered, for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 200C (180C fan) / 390F / gas 6 and place the chicken and all its marinade on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 40 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden and the juices run clear when you poke the tip of a small, sharp knife into the thickest part of the thigh.

Transfer the roast chicken to the top of the rice pot, then pour in the juice from the roasting pan. Serve straight from the pan, garnished with the reserved onion mixture and dill leaves, with the yogurt in a bowl on the side.

Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Cashews Curry

Crunchy cucumber salad from Yotam Ottolenghi with curried cashew nuts.
Crunchy cucumber salad from Yotam Ottolenghi with curried cashew nuts.

This fresh and crunchy salad is the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of savory rice dishes.

Preperation 25 minutes
to cook 20 mins
Serves 6

4 Lebanese cucumbers, halved, seeded and cut into ½ cm thick slices (350 g)
400g ripe datterini (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
Salt and black pepper
1 red onion
, peeled and cut into thin rings (130g)
1 large carrot, trimmed, peeled, then cut into thin ribbons (I use a peeler; 100g)
1 red chilli, thinly sliced ​​into rings (remove and discard pith and seeds if less heat; 20g)
20 g flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon of black cumin seeds, gate

For the curried cashews
100g cashew nuts
1 tsp olive oil
2½ teaspoons of madras curry powder

For the tamarind vinaigrette
70g of tamarind puree
1½ tablespoon of maple syrup
2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)

For the mint vinaigrette
20g mint leaves
2 cloves garlic
, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
75 ml olive oil

Heat oven to 170C (150C fan) / 325F / gas 3.

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers and tomatoes with half a teaspoon of salt and let stand for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cashews curry with a quarter teaspoon of salt, then spread out on a small baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until nicely browned. and dark in places. Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tamarind vinaigrette in a small bowl and set aside.

Put all the ingredients for the mint dressing in a small food processor, add half a teaspoon of salt and toss to an almost smooth green dressing.

Drain the cucumber and tomato, discarding the liquid they have released. On a large rimmed dish, cleverly layer the cucumber, tomato, onion rings, carrot ribbons, chili, parsley and both dressings. Garnish with a little cashew and black cumin seeds and serve.

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