February 15, 2014 by Joan Nova in Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, Food Challenge, Food Pairings, Marrying Flavors, One dish meal, Party Food, Recipe, Recipe Development, Rice/Risotto, Salads | 27 Comments
Just look at that mise en place — and it only partially reflects all the ingredients. The finished dish had 3 different rice varieties, pork loin, cranberries, dates, walnuts, a variety of lentils, herbs, raw vegetables — and a chocolate and orange dressing!! Yes, you read that correctly: chocolate and orange!!
Great for a party or a one-dish meal for the family.
This is my entry for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge which invited us to use rice in a creative way. I thought about grinding rice to make rice flour and then make something from that … but, one day, while fishing around for dinner for myself, I came up with this.
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Each rice variety was cooked separately: the black with just salt, the white with dried cranberries and flavored/colored with annatto and saffron flowers, and the green bamboo rice was cooked with the lentils blend and oregano.
Parsley, scallion and baby zucchini were the fresh elements for the rice base.
The pork, raw zucchini, parsley, scallions and dates were folded into the cooked rice and then it was dressed with …
I only used a little of each but the flavor(s) were definitely noted in both taste and fragrance.
So Why is this The Best Rice Salad Ever?
If you’re like me and find that a little sweet with savory tickles your palate and you like the texture play of cooked and fresh ingredients in each forkful, then this might just be the best rice salad for you too. Even the 3 rice varieties had a different bite. And … the whole dish was made with leftovers (well-seasoned pork), pantry staples (rice, lentils, dried fruit, nuts) and a few fresh ingredients. Of course, the specialty oil and vinegar just made it SING. And it hit all high notes!
The group round-up will be published on Lazaro Cooks on 2/27.
Visit our pinterest page for past challenges and inspiration.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.