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Archive for the 'rice' Category

“It looks a little disgusting, but tastes good.”


One of my favorite dishes, growing up, was a side of sauteed spinach with shallots.
It’s a basic, no-frills recipe that tastes delicious.

All you do is pour two tablespoons of coconut oil (any vegetable oil will do, but coconut oil makes it swoon-worthy) into a heavy-bottomed pan, and when the oil heats up, add a teaspoon of mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add half a cup of finely chopped shallots, and two slit green chilies. Wait for the onions to become translucent, about three minutes. To this, add three cups of chopped spinach and cook it down till it looks to be (sadly) about 1/4 of its original quantity. Season with salt. It tastes great with white steamed rice.

I know I am not very scientific in my recipe telling. But I will provide you with the White House Chef Cristeta Comerford’s variation (as I like to call it) of this recipe, which the New York Times recently published. I tried it out last week, and although one is a sauteed dish and the other a soup, they taste curiously alike.

My 8-year-old daughter’s response was equally curious:
“It looks a little disgusting, but tastes good.”

The White House No Cream Creamed Spinach

2 pounds baby spinach, washed and cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Blanch half a pound of spinach in salted, boiling water. Immediately, “shock” the blanched spinach in a bowl of iced water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Puree in a blender. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the spinach leaves. Toss and saute until wilted. Fold in the spinach puree. Season with salt and pepper.

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

Contemplating leftovers


When my mother-in-law comes for Thanksgiving, we take the turkey carcass and make soup. When it’s just the family, we dispense with a whole turkey and make house rice out of the remainders.

It may be a generational thing. My mother-in-law grew up during the Great Depression on an Ohio farm in a large family — something like seven brothers and sisters. Everything was used and everything was expected to stretch.

My family is fairly small — my husband, our three children and me — so we’re less inclined to overcook and seldom have leftovers. My children, thankfully, are willing to eat leftovers. They just are very particular about how that leftover food is served.

That’s how we created house rice. It’s based on a typical fried rice offering at the local ethnic eatery, but with leftovers instead of — er — new food.

When I was a child, we had ‘clean out the refrigerator night.’ My own children know that house rice means ‘everything we have in the house goes in the rice.’ So after Thanksgiving, I took what turkey still remained after my son finished his midnight raid, the leftover vegetables, some frozen peas (because you always have to have peas in house rice. Don’t ask), an egg and mixed them in the wok with cooked rice and soy sauce and had no complaints about yet another turkey dish.

Any other family leftover recipes I can try? We’re out of turkey, but I still have some stuffing and mashed potatoes to get rid of.

Posted by Randi Weiner on Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
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