Sunday, September 19, 2021

jollof rice


Last year I got into the "Jesus and Jollof" podcast a little bit (hosted by two Nigerian-American ladies); sadly, there have been no new episodes dropped lately. Anyhoo, I also listen to the "Happier with Gretchen Rubin" podcast, and one of her recommendations for a happiness booster was to make a dish or drink that you've only ever read about or heard about, but had never tried. So jollof rice it was! And I have since made it several times---it's so flavorful and packed with new tastes (new to me in that combination). Here's the original recipe, but I don't put as much heat in as it calls for. I do that at the table for my plate only with Tabasco or sriracha. I halve the recipe (the original one calls for 4 cups rice).

You'll need:
  • 400 g canned tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped 
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 onions (purple or white); one roughly chopped and one thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups stock
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Do this:

In a blender, throw in the roughly chopped onion, the red pepper, the can of tomatoes, and 1 cup stock, blitz, then pour that liquid into a big pot and simmer for 10 minutes on the stove.

Also on the stove, saute the thinly sliced onion in a little bit of oil till soft, then put in a pinch of salt, pepper, the bay leaves, the curry powder, the thyme, and the tomato paste and stir around for a minute. Then add all that to the big pot of simmering sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on.

Add the last 2 cups of stock to the big pot of tomato sauce and boil for a minute.

Stir in the rinsed rice, the butter or ghee, then cover the pot with foil plus the lid and turn down to low for 30 minutes without taking the foil and lid off. Then release the lid and foil carefully (lots of steam), stir, and serve with coleslaw, tomatoes, boiled eggs, and fresh sliced onions for the top. 

I can attest to the fact that this dish does indeed make me very happy. Thank you for the suggestion, Happier podcast! 

chicken tofu garlic ginger rice-noodle soup


No need for a fancy nomenclature for this bowl of deliciousness; just make it and eat it already. (I have posted about this before back in 2009, but I've upped the yum factor now.)

You'll need:
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • chopped green onions
  • splash of soy sauce
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 200 g rice noodles
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small bites
  • hard tofu
  • fresh garlic, minced (lots)
  • fresh ginger, grated (again, lots)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • rayu chili oil for seasoning each person's own bowl
Do this:

Add your veg, chicken, and seasonings (except the rayu), then water to your liking, and bring to the boil. When the chicken is cooked and the veggies are tender, add the uncooked rice noodles. They will cook right in that pot while you stir. 

Dress your own bowl with as much or as little rayu chili oil as you like. I like. 

rice-cooker gluten-free and dairy-free pineapple-ginger cake


I honestly don't remember where I originally got this recipe, but I've changed it quite a bit so maybe it won't matter too much that I don't credit the source (sorry, whoever you are!). It's basically a cake made in a rice cooker from a pancake mix, but it's super-duper easy and has minimal dirty dishes to take care of afterward. One of the boys wanted it on his Vaccine Day, so have it he did. 

You'll need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free pancake mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus extra for greasing the rice-cooker insert
  • 100 g soy milk, or milk of your choice
  • 1/2 large can (400 g or so can) pineapple, cut into small bites
  • soy cream, a teaspoon of sugar, and a splash of vanilla for whipping
Do this:

Grease your rice-cooker insert with oil. In a mixing bowl, beat your eggs, pancake mix, oil, ginger, and milk, then stir in the pineapple by hand. Pour into your rice-cooker insert and press start. No need to choose a fancy setting; your rice cooker is a smart cookie.

Whip your soy cream, teaspoon of sugar, and splash of vanilla to dress your cake. As you can see, we do like a little bit of cake with our whipped cream. 

I shared the photo of the finished cake in a gluten-free group I'm in, and one of the other group members called it "the peaceful delicious moon." Exactly.