Monday, March 29, 2010

Orange-Flavored Rice

This year I served Seder to 36 people. Just call me caterer.

I'm pretty proud of my menu. Responses were positive, and the work was largely done in advance. I made a spice-rubbed chicken from a Jean-Georges Vongeritchen recipe (but I haven't actually eaten any yet so I won't post the recipe yet), this orange-flavored rice from one of Mom's books, some roasted root vegetables (many: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, celery root, leek, and onion) with rosemary, spiced almonds, brown eggs, charoset, whole-wheat tortillas, grape juice, and flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

Shereen Polo II
Orange-flavored Rice

1/2 c. dried orange peel slivers (I use about 1 t. orange oil)
2 T. cooking oil
1/4 c. blanched almond slivers
1/4 c. pistachio nuts, shelled
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. whole saffron, dissolved in 1/4 c. hot water
2 c. raw rice, well rinsed

Bring 1 c. water to a boil, add the orange peel, and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the almonds and pistachios, and stir fry over low heat until the almonds become light brown, about 3 minutes. Add the drained orange peel and stir fry for 1 minute more. Mix in the sugar and saffron liquid, cover the skillet, and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.

To prepare the rice, cover it with cold water and salt; let soak for 1/2 hour. Pour off nearly all the lightly salted water, leaving about 1/2 c. Bring the 4 c. water to a boil over moderate heat, and add the rice and remaining liquid. Cook for 8 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water. Set aside briefly.
Put 3 T. oil in a large enough pan with 1/4 t. turmeric. Shake the pan briskly to mix. Spread about 1 c. of the partially cooked rice on the bottom of the pan. Cover with half the nut mixture, then more rice, then more nuts, ending with rice. Shape the top into a pyramid. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 2 T. oil and 2 T. water. Cover the pan with a cloth kitchen towel and the pan cover. Cook over very low heat for 1/2 hour to allow the rice crisp, tadiq, to form. Some cooks let the tadiq form by cooking for 1 hour but the lesser time seems to work. Serve warm by mixing all the layers together.


Ford said...

How was the spice-rubbed chicken?

Rebekka said...

I actually didn't get to eat any of the chicken. I don't think anyone died, though, and it's been a few years so I think it would have happened by now.

This year, I made a version of this recipe except as orange-flavored couscous. I think this is a 'me' recipe. People seem to like it ok, but as for me, I LOVE it. Oh well, I'll eat it all.