Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Comino (Cumin) Rice

This is a very versatile Mediterranean style rice, that is the best prepared with Basmati rice, however it will not mold well as it is so fluffy.  If you wish to mold this rice, use a short grain rice.  And, if you do not have all 3 bell peppers on hand--you can substitute just one kind of pepper and even substitute chopped chiles.

This is my all-time favorite rice recipe--it tastes best when you divide the cumin, adding half as it is cooked, the balance just before you serving.  The confetti dots of yellow, green and red make for a very pretty side dish.  I have sometimes called this dish Peppered Rice.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

2 tablespoons lard or butter
2 cups diced green, yellow and red bell pepper
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon cumin (comino), divided
1-1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice (Basmati is best)
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, hot

1.   Using medium heat, melt the lard or butter in a 3 quart saucepan with a close-fitting cover. Add the peppers and onion and cook until onion is wilted. Add the garlic, ½ teaspoon cumin and rice, and stir until well mixed.

2.   Add the hot stock and mix to distribute the rice evenly. Using medium high heat, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and steam for 15 minutes without disturbing. Then add remaining cumin and stir.  If not as tender as desired, cook to desired doneness.  If dry, add more stock.  Taste and adjust seasonings—I have always found the seasoning in the stock precludes the need for salt in the recipe.

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