Rice Salad

I do like a nice rice salad.

rice salad

The problem I have with some you can buy is that they are either too salty or too wet! So where possible I try and make my own.

This is a very simple recipe and you can adjust quantities to taste, how much you want, how much you have in the fridge.

Cook some rice.

I use basmati rice, in the main as it is so simple to cook, and cooks in ten minutes.

While the rice is cooking, in a frying pan add some olive oil and then add pancetta, onions, red pepper and courgettes. After that has cooked for a while add some mushrooms.

Ensure that they are cooked through and turn off the heat.

Now you could add the pepper, mushrooms, even the courgette raw, but I prefer to have them cooked.

Once the rice is cooked, drain and then to stop it cooking further and to cool it down rinse well with cold water.

Put the cooked rice in a bowl, add some mayonnaise and some creme frache.

Then add the cooked mixture.

making rice salad

Stir with a spoon until the rice and cooked mixture is evenly coated. As with a lot of salads though you could serve this straight away, it will improve if you leave it in the fridge for a few hours.

Excellent.

Pork with white wine and pancetta

Last night I cooked a very nice meal and it only took 15 minutes from scratch.

Ingredients

Pork medallions (or you could use loin steaks, pork chops or tenderloin)

Olive oil

Black pepper

Rice

Green beans

For the sauce

Pancetta

Onion

Parsley

Flour

White wine

Creme frache

So first boil the kettle with fresh water to cook the rice and the green beans.

Whilst the kettle is boiling put two pans on for the pork and the sauce. Add a dash of olive oil to both pans. When the oil is hot, add the pork (ensure it is dry) to one and the pancetta to the other.

Ensure the rice is washed, I now use basmati rice all the time, in the main as it cooks easily without sticking and only takes ten minutes. Put separate pans on for the rice and the beans. Time the rice for ten minute, the beans should be cooked after ten minutes as well.

Once the pancetta is cooked, add the onion, finely chopped.

Check the pork, turning if needed.

Once the onion is softened add a spoonful of flour to the pancetta and onion and stir well, then add a good dash of white wine. When it starts to thicken take off the heat.

When the pork is cooked, remove to a warm plate and allow to rest, this will make it tender.

Deglaze the pork pan, by adding a good dash of white wine. Add the pancetta and onion sauce and a couple of large spoonfuls of creme frache, add the parsely and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir.

Put the rice on the plate, you can just spoon it on, if you have more than fifteen minutes then I use a ramekin, spoon the rice into the ramekin and then upturn onto the plate, looks neater than a spoonfuls of rice.

You can either leave the pork whole, or slice depending on what you prefer.

Cover the pork with the sauce.

Serve with the green beans.

Fifteen minutes from entering the kitchen to on the table.

Sorted.

Risotto disaster…

Last night I decided to cook a risotto to go with the shellfish I was cooking. I have done this in the past usually using white wine, lemon, rocket and parmesan to flavour the risotto. Alas I had no white wine, no lemon and no rocket, though I did have a block of parmesan to hand. Little piece of advice here, never buy pre-grated parmesan this is usually  grated from dried out pieces of old parmesan or so an old Italian friend of mine once said. Though as it is usually cheaper than the solid stuff I am inclined to believe her! So there I was cooking this risotto and wondering how I should flavour it. Well I had mushrooms and they always work well in risotto, I had some red wine, and I had some chicken stock. There we go, good to go, or so I thought.

Basically it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped. Firstly it came out a grey lilac colour rather than the rich red brown I was expecting. Well that was down to the red wine, lack of dark stock and the mushrooms. Secondly it was rather bland, it had no bite. I think it could have done with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Most of it was eaten so either we were hungry or it wasn’t half as bad as it looked.

Having said that, the scallops wrapped in pancetta were delicious.