Seductions of Rice: Hoppin' John, Rice and Peas: The North American Way
Collard Greens, pg 392
It feels funny to write this "recipe" up, but in truth my previous forays with collard greens have always had their ups & downs, probably 'cause I never bothered to look at a recipe.
Anyway, over Memorial Day we were having a crowd over for BBQ and collards made their way onto the menu, since company was involved it seemed prudent to take a look at some directions. Coincidentally spotted this recipe as I was leafing through the book after picking it up at the library. It isn't much different from others I looked at, 1/2lb pork, ham, or bacon (I used a good cured ham), 8 cups water, boil for 30 minutes to make a broth, add 4 bunches cleaned and cut collards, cook until tender, or if prefered cook until stock is reduced (that's what I did).
Best collards I ever made (faint praise, now that I think about it). They disappeared quite nicely at the BBQ (a much better gauge).
Oaxacan Rice Pudding ... page 416
This is extra nice, really. I know now to use medium grain rice in pudding, it's smoother, the whole dish is creamier. Cinnamon stick is cooked with the rice, also ginger (just enough) and lime zest. No vanilla! I really didn't think *that* would work, but it did. Milk. eggs, sugar, raisins of course. It's simmered, then baked, an extra step but it came out so well I'll keep doing it that way.
On the opposite page is "Memories of Childhood Rice Pudding" -- I'll bet that's just right too, but today I just made this one.
Mexican Red Rice ... page 412
This is red from tomato, the rice used is actually white. When finished, the grains will be separate, not sticky or wet. Tomatoes, white onions, garlic are used. The vegetables are grilled (I did this the best I could under the broiler--turn with tongs to char them nicely.) The book implies that blackened *all over* is preferable, but I went about halfway. Then puree the vegetables, add water if needed to ensure you'll have enough liquid for the rice.
The rice is "toasted" in oil until golden (I've done this before for other dishes--it really makes a nice rice difference!) Ah, now simmer the rice in stock/broth/water and the enhanced-by-char puree until done. The rice, again, will be a dry fluffy texture (still nice and moist inside, don't worry). Garnish with corn or carrot. Pretty mild, no peppers or chiles in this, comfort food for sure.
Hoppin' John with a Side of Peas, Pg. 390
Well we finally found our way out of China and headed back to the South Carolina coast. This frankly southern dish was our Saturday night dinner, the peas being Black-eyed peas y'all. It's usually served on New Year's Day but since the weather here has been less than ideal late spring - nearly summer it was much appreciated and comforting.
I used 2 smallish smoked ham hocks less than a pound total which I cooked with a chopped Vidlia onion, 2 chopped jalapeños, and 5 cups of water for 1 hour. One of the very few times I didn't cook beans from scratch I used a 15. 5 oz tin of black-eyed peas Thus I didn't totally adhere to the recipe but added the peas, half the tin, at the stage where the rice is cooked along with one of the ham hocks, after the hocks have finished cooking. The long grain rice I used was Carolina, which is fast becoming a favorite because of its nice dry texture.
To serve: Slice the meat off the ham hocks. Heat up the remaining peas. Place the bean & rice combination in a serving bowl, put the remaining peas in a bowl and strew the sliced ham over the peas.
Delicious. Not too salty, I had omitted the optional salt. We liked the black-eyed peas.. nutty/sweetish. It's an easy recipe but you do have to make time for cooking the beans and ham hocks before making the rice then combining everything. I suppose I could have made the almost obligatory collard greens but really this was enough for us. (I really Do like the collard recipe in "Bon Appetit Y'All", though...)
re: Caitlin McGrath
I'm not sure I've ever seen frozen BEPs. I'll have to keep an eye out. Being a born and bred (or I guess that should be bred and born) Southerner, I adore BEPs and have been known (rarely) to opt for canned when the craving hits me.
This book is growing on me. But I have too many that I've cooked not at all from or only one dish. Get thee behind me, Satan.
re: c oliver
As I said, I've never had canned, but frozen have a good texture, firm. I'm guessing they're actually cooked and frozen from fresh peas, not dried, as I think the small limas are and given the way frozen vegetables are processed in general, though that is only a guess. I've seen them from some of the big frozen vegetable brands, though I imagine whereabouts they're stocked depends on demand.
I also made this recipe, as usual not much to it.
- used 3/4 lb of bacon instead of the ham hock, rendered most of the fat off and saved it.
- used four New Mexico fresh chiles, minced; the next time I will try dried chipotle chiles
- used basmati rice, soaked during pea cooking cycle then drained
- used dried black eyed peas soaked overnight
- First, sweated the minced onion until soft, then added half of the chile, minced bacon, soaked and drained peas, enough water to cover 1/2 inch
- cooked for ~ one hour until just tender, then added the rice, 1/2 inch water and the rest of the chile and bacon.
- final cooking lasted ~ 20 minutes, be sure that there is just enough water so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
Serves a Ton of folks :-). Good with greens but I went for scrambled eggs ...
Besides trying the chipotle, the next time I will use less rice.
Louisiana Pecan and Popcorn Rice ... page 389
This is just a page giving descriptions and cooking instructions for these (new to me) kinds of rice. I ordered both online, and made a portion of each. The pecan rice is light yellow, the popcorn rice whiter. (And they came in cute cloth sacks!) The pecan has a "nutty" aroma as it cooks, but not a *strongly specific* pecan smell IMO. It came out nicely firm, large separate grains. Would be good anywhere you'd use long grain white, I'd say. Soup, gumbo.
The popcorn rice is a riot -- I could smell POPCORN from 3 rooms away! When done, it seemed very slightly softer/moister than the pecan. The popcorn smell is stronger as a smell than a taste, but what fun to cook!
Brined pork chops -- Thomas Keller's brine found here
to go with the rice.