I finally got around to making a special Valentine’s Day dinner, albeit about a week late (last Sunday, neither one of us felt like going grocery shopping and we just ended up getting Indian take-out). For starters, I made hummus, toasted pita chips, and warm olives with za’atar. For the actual dinner, I used Ana Sortun’s cookbook Spice (chef of Oleana…my hands down favorite restaurant in Boston and her husband runs the best farmer’s market stand, Siena Farms, in Copley Square during the summer months). I made the Seared Salmon with Egyptian Garlic and Coriander Sauce, Rice Cake, and Sister K’s Roasted Asparagus. The salmon was very good…it browned very nicely in this recipe. I made way too much of the tomato sauce as I forgot to halve the recipe. I did get to practice my new cooking skill of peeling tomatoes that I learned in my French cooking class. Basically, you cut off the top, cut an x from top to bottom of the tomato and place in boiling water for 1 minute. Put in an ice bath afterwards and the peel practically falls off. The rice cake were delicious…scoops of rice that get a great crusty top when you cook them and then bake them. Here is the recipe slightly abridged for time for quantity (check out the cookbook for the full recipe):
-1 cup basmati rice
-1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tblsp canola oil
-1 tsp butter
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the rice and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the yogurt until smooth. Stir in rice and season with salt.
Heat a medium ovenproof saute pan over high heat and add oil and butter. Once the butter is brown, scoop the rice in 1/2 cup measuring container and drop into pan (should make 4-6 scoops). Cook over medium heat until the bottoms brown (around 6-10 minutes). Place this pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. The bottoms should have a nice crust and the tops should still be soft. Serve with the crust side up.
I thought this made a great side dish and was not very difficult to make. I am definitely going to make this one again.