Category Archives: rice

Creamy Beetroot Risotto

We’ve been growing a special variety of beetroot in the garden. Rather than the beets growing round like a traditional beet they grow down in a tubular shape which is perfect for growing in containers. They have been ready for a few weeks and I’ve just been trying to come up with ideas for them, instead of just pickling them all.

The weather is still appalling and we were in severe need of something to brighten us up so I decided to make a beetroot risotto. It ended up as a rather shocking pink and Hubby looked rather shocked when I served it up! As for the taste you could really taste the sweet, earthyness of the beetroot.

Creamy Beetroot Risotto
Serves 2

3-4 beetroots
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
200g risotto rice
50ml red wine
400ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp butter

1) Roast beetroots (with the skins still on) in a foil parcel at 200oc for an hour. Allow to cool, peel off the skin and dice.

2) Gently fry onion and garlic in the olive oil in a deep saucepan for 3 min. Add rice and stir for a further 2-3 until the rice is translucent.

3) Pour in the wine and turn up the heat until the wine is absorbed. Gradually add stock 1 ladle at a time, each time waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.

4) Stir in beetroot and leave for 4 min. Take off the heat then add creme fraiche, butter and seasoning. Leave for 2-3 min before serving.


Chicken, Asparagus & Lemon Risotto

Now the British Asparagus season is in full swing we’ve been taking advantage and eating asparagus in a large amount of meals. With some roast chicken left I decided to make a risotto. Perfect for this time of year. We both really enjoyed it.

Chicken, Asparagus & Lemon Risotto
Serves 2

1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 big clove of garlic, chopped
200g risotto rice
100ml white wine
400ml hot chicken stock
6 spears of asparagus, chopped into 1/3
handful of cooked chicken
2 dsp lemon juice
knob of butter
half a handful of parmesan

1) Gently fry shallots and garlic in the olive oil in a deep saucepan for 3 min. Add rice and stir for a further 2-3 until the rice is translucent.

2) Pour in the wine and turn up the heat until the wine is absorbed. Gradually add stock 1 ladle at a time, each time waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. After the first ladle of stock stir in the asparagus, after the 2nd ladle add the chicken. After the last ladle of stock has been added stir in lemon juice.

3) The risotto is ready once all the stock has been absorbed and the rice has a slight bite. Stir in parmesan and butter. Leave for 2-3 min before serving.

Pea & Goat’s Cheese Risotto

I took a break from my marathon baking session to make my dinner. I’ve only had risotto once before and that was in a restaurant so when the local supermarket decided to get with the times and stock risotto rice I decided I would give it a go.

It made a huge portion and I only managed to eat half of it. I enjoyed it to start but was fed up of it by the end. That could be due to me having a low boredom threshold when it comes to food. I prefer to have lost of different flavours on the plate rather than everything mixed together, I’m an odd one me! However saying that the rest will probably be my lunch tomorrow.

Pea & Goat’s Cheese Risotto
Serves 1-2

1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
200g risotto rice
50ml white wine
300ml hot chicken stock
50g frozen peas
50g goat’s cheese
1 tbsp mint
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp butter

1) Gently fry shallots and garlic in the olive oil in a deep saucepan for 3 min. Add rice and stir for a further 2-3 until the rice is translucent.

2) Pour in the wine and turn up the heat until the wine is absorbed. Gradually add stock 1 ladle at a time, each time waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.

3) Mix in peas, mint, half of the cheese, creme fraiche, butter and season. Leave for 2-3 min. Serve then garnish with the remaining cheese.

Lamb Biryani

Ever since seeing the recipe for Lamb Biryani in this months Delicious I couldn’t wait to give it a go. I’m a fan of Indian food, but struggle to find recipes that make dishes as good as the local Balti house.

The original recipe is for 6 so I had to tweak it slightly. The recipe also calls for ghee (clarified butter), I didn’t really want to buy ghee from the supermarket as I can’t see me using the rest of it so I made my own. I also don’t own a casserole dish with a lid that is hob safe do had to dramatically alter the times to take this into account (the times here are the times I used).

We had it with naan bread and some riata I made. I was nice and certainly smelt of a biryani, but I felt it needed more of a spicy kick. Next time I’ll make a basic vegetable curry to accompany it. It would have looked far more photogenic if I had remembered to buy fresh coriander!

Lamb Biryani
Serves 2 with leftovers

Marinade (prepare the night before)
125ml natural yogurt
400g lamb leg steak, cut into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green chilli, sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1) Mix all the marinade ingredients together, ensure lamb is thoroughly coated. Cover, chill and marinade overnight.

2) Next day, remove from the fridge and allow to get to room temperature.

50ml milk
1/2 tsp saffron
40g ghee (if you are making your own, 50g unsalted butter will make enough ghee for this recipe)
1 large onion, finely sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
180g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 min in cold water
6 cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick

1) Preheat oven to 180oc. Heat milk and stir in saffron, put to one side. Heat all but 1 tbsp of ghee in pan. Gently fry onions for 15 min. Stir in cumin and coriander for the final minute.

2) Boil rice, cardamom and cinnamon in pan of water for 2 min, then drain. Stir in onions.

3) Melt remaining ghee and pour onto the bottom of your casserole dish. Spread a small amount of rice at the bottom of the dish. Pour over with half of the lamb and marinade, top again with half of the rice. Cover with the remaining lamb and finally the last of the rice (think, layering up a lasagna!). Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice.

4) Tightly cover with foil, then place the lid on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes until rice and lamb are tender.

Oven-Baked Thai Rice

We had a dusting of snow over night. Rather than it being the thick blanket I was secretly hoping for it was as if someone had got overexcited with the icing sugar! Yesterday in school we had a delivery of Living Eggs and they started to hatch today. I lost count how many of this kids today asked to go to the toilet when it was clear they were off to nosy at the chicks. Our dream is to own somewhere like River Cottage with our own brood of pigs and chickens.

For tonight I tried a recipe my sister gave me. It certainly had a spicy kick (I never learn with thai green curry paste!) and am very glad there is some leftovers for lunch tomorrow. The red pepper does look quite psychadelic compared to the rice. Next time I may try a green pepper.

Oven-Baked Thai Rice
Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 chicken fillets
2 tsp thai green curry paste
125g basmati & wild rice, rinsed
1 small red pepper, sliced
zest and juice of 1/2 lime
200ml coconut milk
125ml boiling water
4 kafir lime leaves
dash of fish sauce

1) Preheat oven to 180oc. In oven-safe pan soften shallots for 5 min, then add chicken and curry paste. Cook for 3 min.

2) Stir in the remainding ingredients. Bring to the boil then bake in the oven, uncovered, for 15 min. Stir every 5 minutes.

Rice Pudding

Although the past few days have been unusually warm for this time of year the nights have been bitterly cold. While the weather is still cold, I crave comfort food. This months edition of delicious has a whole section devoted to British puddings, heaven! Tonight I cooked a rack of lamb with port & cranberry jus and for the last month or so it’s become a tradition to cook a pudding with sunday dinner.

Tonight was the turn of rice pudding. I always have a bag of pudding rice languishing at the back of the cupboard, to be honest I don’t know why supermarkets sell such big bags of pudding rice as you only need a tiny amount to make a pudding…anyway it’s a gorgeous comforting pudding. Be warned it takes a long, long time to cook, but it’s worth it. It tastes far better than any tinned rice pudding.

Rice Pudding (from River Cottage Family Cookbook)
Serves 2

50g pudding rice
25g unsalted butter
500ml whole milk
25g caster sugar (I use my vanilla sugar)
pinch of salt
vanilla pod, slit down the middle

1) Preheat to 150oc. Lightly butter ovenproof dish. Wash rice then mix all ingredients in the dish.

2) Bake for 45 min, remove from oven and stir. Bake for a further 30 min, by this point a skin will have begun to form. Stir again to stop the rice sticking to the bottom of the bowl.

3) Return the dish to the oven yet again and bake for a further 1 – 1.5 hours. If you don’t want a skin cover dish with lid/foil. If it begins to dry out stir in more milk.

Oven Baked Red Pesto Chicken

Thankfully we missed to worst of the snow, but it’s still bitterly cold with a biting wind. I’m on Chantry Farm’s mailing list and today recieved an interesting letter explaining where all their meat came from. With lamb home reared on thier farm, beef from Quenby Hall, Pork from Packington Pork, free-range chicken from Packington Poultry and Derbyshire Dales, free-range eggs from Liberty Farm and fish fresh from the docks in Hull. It certainly gives me a great deal of confidence buying from them as I’m supporting local farmers, something that is very important to me.

Some of thier chicken went into tonights dinner. I’ve been meaning to make this dish for the last few weeks, but with one thing or another I’ve ended up cooking something different. It was really delicious and filling and we’ll certainly be making it again soon.

Oven Baked Red Pesto Chicken
Serves 2-3

1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken fillets, diced
1 red onion cut into wedges
1 large red pepper, cut into wedges
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g basmati rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
5 tbsp red pesto

1) Preheat oven to 190oc. In an ovenproof saute pan, fry chicken in oil until the chicken is starting to brown. Remove from pan. Fry onions and peppers for 4 min. Add garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds.

2) Add chicken back into pan then pour in stock, tomatoes and rice. Stir in chilli flakes. Bring to the boil then bake in the oven, uncovered, for 20 min. Stir in pesto before serving.

Veggie Sushi

As I don’t really eat seafood I’ve never eaten sushi. Veggie sushi is quite hard to find so I decided to make my own. They were easier to make than I thought. I put cucumber and pepper in the center of mine, whereas hubby is putting salami (?!?) in his.
The recipe for them was on the back of the sushi rice packet so I’m not going to post it here as I think it varies depending on what rice you use.
I really enjoyed them and will probably make them for lunches. Although the wasabi was probably the spiciest thing I have tasted in my life, I liked the taste.
Tomorrow we’re having a BBQ and I’m really looking forward to it. I like being a hostess, plus it means hubby & I can drink and not worry about having to get home!

Perfect Pulao Rice

We have just returned from a week in Center Parcs – Sherwood Forest. I admit I’m not the sportiest person on the planet and running around the gym, isn’t my idea of fun so I spent most of the time in Aqua Sana or drinking/eating. In the spa Hubby & I had a fantastic treatment called Serail Mud Treatment. Essentially you smother each other in a clay/mud mix and sit in your own private steam room for 20 min. Very hot and very messy, but left us both with baby soft skin.

The food in Center Parcs can be very much hit or miss, but their Indian restaurant Rajinda Pradesh is fantastic. Ok, it’s not as cheap & cheesy as Balti Towers (yes that is the name of my local Indian!) down the road, but it is a great place for a posh curry.

Whenever we eat at Rajinda Pradesh we go a bit mad. Our order included:
Shuruati Jugalbandi – A selection of starters including bhajie, tandoori chicken, deepfried okra (far nicer than I was expecting!) and mini shish lamb kebab.
Pappadums with various dips and chutneys
Chicken Passanda – Chicken in a red wine, cashew, tomato and cream based sauce flavoured with garam masala
Chicken MakhaniTandoori chicken in a creamy sauce with coconut butter.
Tandoori Naan bread
Pulao rice

All washed down with a bottle of Hardys “The Riddle” Chardonnay-Semillion and liquor coffee. Heaven!

Just before we went on holiday I manged to cook the perfect pulao rice. Has been many years in the making, but I got there eventually!

Perfect Pulao Rice
Serves 2

200g basmati rice
1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick (don’t break it up, or it’s a pain to fish out!)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
300ml boiling water
1/4 tsp lemon juice

1) Heat oil and add whole spices. Cook gently for 1 minute until you can smell the spices.

2) Stir in bay leaf, salt, rice and water. Cover and cook on low for 10 min.

3) Take rice off heat and leave for 5 min.

4) Fish out bay, cinnamon, clove and cardamom then serve.

Marmalade Chicken

Tonight I made Marmalade chicken with roasted red onion and egg fried rice. I appologise for H2B’s monster portion of rice!
Marmalade Chicken
1 orange
1 lemon
4 tbsp of fine cut marmalade
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 chicken fillets
Small bunch of thyme
large red onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1. heat oven to 190oc. Cut orange & lemon in half and juice one half of each into a bowl. Mix in marmalade and oil. season well.

2. Cut 4 diagonal slashes in the chicken, stuff with thyme and place ontop of ionin in roasting tin

3. Cut remaining orange and lemon into thin wedges and arrange around chicken & onion. Spoon over marmalade mix. Scatter over more thyme and pepper. Leave covered in fridge for about 30 min.

4. Bake for 30-35 min.

Egg fried rice
serves 2-4

2 eggs
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp veg oil
200g cooked rice, cooled
100g frozen peas
4 spring onions
1-2 tsp soy sauce
ground pepper

1) Beat together sesame oil and egg. Put to one side.

2) When veg oil almost smoking, add rice and stir fry for 3-4 min.

3) Add veg, stirfry for about 3 min. Season well with soy and pepper, then push rice to one side of the pan. Pour in beaten egg, leave for 10 sec so it begins to set. Break up egg and stir into rice.

%d bloggers like this: