Foodiva's Kitchen: Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Almonds for 'An Edible Mosaic's' Virtual Cookbook Launch Party

Friday, November 9, 2012

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Almonds for 'An Edible Mosaic's' Virtual Cookbook Launch Party



I'm making an appearance after a few weeks of absence to bring you a very special post today. My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic just had her first cookbook released, entitled An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I’m incredibly honored and excited to be participating in her virtual book launch party and sharing a recipe from the book!

   
The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. Faith has a pretty unique story…after getting married, Faith spent six months living in the Middle East, where she fell in love with the culture and cuisine. Subsequently, she returned four more times for visits, each time delving deeper into the cuisine and deepening her passion for and appreciation of the region. Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar), but streamlined just a bit for the way we cook today, with unique ingredients demystified and cooking techniques anyone can follow. If you didn’t grow up eating Middle Eastern food, it can be a difficult art to master; Faith understands that, and explains complicated dishes in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. The book is available to order now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!


The recipe from the book that I’m sharing with you today is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, along with a variation for Mixed White and Yellow Rice. I actually made my own version of this dish above using her suggested spices of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, while substituting the pine nuts with almonds. It was very simple to prepare, yet was deliciously fragrant from the addition of the spices. The nuts and raisins also added a welcome texture and sweetness to the dish. 


The recipe is vegan so you won’t have any trouble incorporating it into a vegan or vegetarian meal, but it is just as delicious served with chicken, beef, lamb, or seafood, and it would be really fantastic with just about any curry dish. I decided to serve mine with a tasty Squash and Okra Curry and in the cookbook, Faith recommends pairing this rice dish with Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce.  

After you check out the recipe below, please head over to Faith’s blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. Also, as part of her virtual book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes. Be sure to head over and enter!

  
Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, Pictured with Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce,  from An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
ROZ MLOW’WAN

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

1.      Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2.      Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
3.      Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
4.      Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
5.      Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.


Mixed White and Yellow Rice

VARIATION
Mixed White and Yellow Rice

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) uncooked basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
2 pods cardamom, cracked open
2 whole peppercorns
¾ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
1-2 pinches saffron threads or ½ teaspoon turmeric dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

1.      Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2.      Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan, cover and place over moderately high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.      Add the rice, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and salt, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the boiling water to the rice, turn heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil. Give it a stir, cover the pot, turn heat down to very low, and cook 10 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).
4.      After the rice is cooked, let the pot sit with the lid on for 15 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer 1/3 of the rice to a separate bowl.
5.      Stir the saffron or turmeric-colored water into 1/3 of the rice (the rice will turn yellow). Mix together the yellow rice and white rice; serve.

13 comments:

Cher Rockwell said...

Great to "see" you :-)
All of these beautiful rice dishes that are popping up this morning are having a severe affect on my hungry state...

Sue/the view from great island said...

Looks gorgeous, and that okra curry sounds amazing, are you going to post that recipe?? We loved the rice, it's going to be a staple in our house from now on.

The Life of Clare said...

I love this idea, that there are heaps of bloggers testing out these recipes! I've only had okra once and it wasn't cooked well, I'd love to try it again.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I'm glad to find you through Faith's book launch! I'll definitely be stopping by more often. Your version of her rice looks delicious!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

This dish looks perfect to accompany many dishes that I serve. Can't wait to try it and I've got that cookbook on my wish list!

Christina said...

This rice looks great! My husband and I love middle eastern foods, so I'll have to pick up the book if I'm not the lucky winner! Thanks for sharing your version!

angela@spinachtiger said...

I like your rendition of Faith's Dish.

Faith said...

I can't thank you enough for participating in my event, Maya. I am honored.

Your post is beautiful, my friend!

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

Yum! Your rice looks great! I used almonds too, and I loved it :)

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I'm seeing this dish here and there and every time I see it I want it more. I've got that book on my wish list!

Parsley Sage said...

This has been such a fun online party! The dishes I've seen so far from An Edible Mosaic have been gorgeous and yours is no exception :)

Guyla said...

Now I want to cook some rice! Looks delicious!

Lilly said...

Maya I hope all is ok with you!! I still don’t have an android so no Whatsap yet =(

But I’ll email you as soon as things are less hectic here. Keep up the running! Our bet is still on!

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