Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mo' Rice and Eggs

While I was looking over the list from last Monday's show, I had this idea that I want to do a leftovers show. Not what you may think. Not the kind of leftovers that you find in the fridge. No, I was looking at some of the things I hadn't gotten around to talking about because of the time.
It's really only a 55-minute show and when I get through running my mouth about this and that, I find that time has gotten away and that I have to ax a few items from my list, items that I really wanted to share with the listeners, items that many may not have heard of, that some may only have a brief knowledge about. So, I had this idea of doing a show of leftovers that I never got to discuss. Some things I did discuss, though, are some really interesting rice and egg dishes.
As I mentioned on the show, Texas Sweet Onions were on sale this week. And one of the preparations I shared was a middle eastern dish that combines onions, lentils and rice. It's called Megadarra and the preparation couldn't be simpler.


2 cups brown lentils
1 onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain rice, washed in several changes of water and drained
2 onions, sliced into half-moon shapes

Bring water and lentils to boil and simmer until tender. Fry chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and golden. Add to lentils and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and add rice and enough water to make 2 cups of liquid in the pan. Season again and simmer covered for 20 minutes until rice is tender adding more water if needed.
Fry sliced onions in 2 tablespoons of hot oil until dark brown and caramelized.
Serve rice and lentils in a large bowl with fried onions scattered over the top and yogurt as a condiment.

The next recipe is from a woman down in Florida whom we call Coco. Coco was raised in Louisiana wears her ability to kill, dress and cook a raccoon, squirrel or rabbit like a badge of honor. When I thought about Bayou cooking, I knew I had to ask her for her Dirty Rice recipe which she had posted in the Jamie Oliver Forums (a group we both belong to) sometime earlier. So, with no further ado, here is her recipe in her own words.

Coco's Dirty Rice

you know I never messure anything so I"m gonna do my best
> 1 lb ground beef (you can use a mix of pork and beef if you
> like it's a matter of prefarance)
> 1 medium onion chopped
> 1 bell pepper chopped
> 3 ribs of celery chopped
> Salt and pepper to taste
> cooking oil
> *1/2 cup chopped chicken livers
> *1/2 cup chopped chicken gizzards
> Cooked Rice about 3 cups (more or less is up to you)

In a 2 quart pot saute onions, pepper and celery until they
> are lightly browned in oil (only enough to cook the
> veggies). Add the beef or beef/pork mixture and brown. Add
> already cooked rice.
> If you want to use the chicken livers and gizzards these
> would be added when you cook the meat.
> ***That is the standard way....
> I don't saute my veg first and I don't use oil. I put
> the meats and the veg in together and cook it all at once.
> I hope that is helpful. Dirty rice has as many
> recipes as there are cajuns. I've added andoille to
> mine to spice it up.

When I started asking around for hard-cooked egg recipes (that didn't include deviled eggs or egg salad) I was delighted and surprised at how many there were and how many I'd forgotten about like Scotch Eggs, an old favorite I haven't had in years. Then Jan, our listener from Scotland, suggested China Tea Eggs, something I've heard about but never made (let alone tasted) before. She wrote and suggested that I pass along a recipe other than the one she originally gave me. This is from the Allrecipes site, a very good site that I recently joined and that sends me several daily recipes. Check them out. They have reviews for their recipes, too, which
include ratings and suggestions.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon tangerine zest

  1. In a large saucepan, combine eggs and 1 teaspoon salt; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. When cool, tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells (do not remove shells).
  2. In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups water, soy sauce, black soy sauce, salt, tea leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and tangerine zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 hours. Remove from heat, add eggs, and let steep for at least 8 hours.

The next recipe is one I did not get a chance to give over the air on Monday but I will here. This, too, is from one of the forum members over at Jamie Oliver. He's originally from Britain but is now living in Cypress. He shares a recipe for a pie that uses hard-cooked eggs and fresh greens. It's definitely on my to-cook list.

Savory Easter Pie

6 hard boiled eggs, shelled, halved
3/4 pound greens (eg. 1/2 lb spinach, 1/4 lob dandelion) cooked and squeezed dry
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan
Sweat 1 chopped onion til soft. Cool.
Add greens and mix.
Add 15 oz container of ricotta
and 1/4 lb cubed provolone
add, mix, season with salt and pepper
Roll puff pastry to line a greased and floured pie dish
Fill with half the spinach mixture.
Place the eggs cut side down. Fill with remaining mixture.
Brush edge with beaten egg. Top with pastry and crimp edge.
Cut a cross in the centre. brush with egg.
Bake at 375f 35 - 40 minutes til risen and golden.
Cool and slice.

Finally, my Quick Fix for the show was a no-brainer as it combined our two star ingredients, rice and hard-cooked eggs. I'm very picky and down right snooty when it comes to Indian food.
When looking at a recipe that purports to be "Indian" and I see curry powder listed in the ingredients, I give an audible "harrumph" and move on. There are, though, exceptions to every rule--even the ones we make ourselves. When I finally did try this recipe, after years of resistance, I was hooked. This comes from the final edition of The Settlement Cookbook, a book that I shared on the air a few weeks ago. The rice recipe comes from Suvir Saran's first book, Indian Homecooking, one of those jewels that I've never made a bad recipe out of and which the author himself was gracious enough to answer questions about when I first started using it several years ago.

Curried Eggs with Basmati Rice

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Few grindings of fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup hot milk
6 hard-cooked eggs sliced

Saute onion in butter til soft. Add flour, curry powder, salt and pepper and mix well. Add milk and whisk until thick. Add eggs and heat through. Serve over basmati rice.

Basmati Rice

Boil 10 cups of water.
Add 2 cups of rice and stir to prevent sticking. Return to boil, reduce to simmer and partially cover cooking for 8 minutes. Drain, return rice to pot and cover until ready to serve.

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