Friday, October 7, 2011

RECIPE - Rice with Carrot and Cashew Nuts (Arroz com Cenoura e Castanha)

Rice Week races to its conclusion...

Most of the time Brazilians are quite content to eat a portion of plain boiled white rice with their mid-day meal (for Brazilians the idea of eating rice at night is rather strange). But sometimes the rice that accompanies their beans and beef or chicken is tarted up a bit - flavored with chopped or shredded vegetables, fruits or nuts. The idea is a bit like the pilafs and pullaos that are found in the great crescent from India, through Iran and Iraq and on to the Levant - the vegetables and seasoning ingredients are briefly sauteed, then the raw grains of rice are fried for a short time and finally the rice is steam-cooked in broth.

The flavor is richer and more complex than plain rice, and the nutritional profile is improved by the addition of vegetables. Vegetables that are commonly mixed with rice and treated this way are kale, broccoli, onions and, in this recipe from the tiny northeastern state of Alagoas, shredded carrots. And to make the dish even more party-fancy, cashew nuts are tossed in to provide additional crunch and a nice flavor boost.
RECIPE - Rice with Carrot and Cashew Nuts (Arroz com Cenoura e Castanha)
Serves 8

5 cups light chicken or vegetable broth (can use water if desired)
2 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded or julienned carrot
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashew nuts
Heat the broth until simmering. Reserve at simmer point.

In a large saucepan with a cover heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the chopped onion until it's transparent but not browned. Add the rice and the shredded carrot and cook, stirring constantly just until all the rice is coated with oil and the grains are beginning to turn transparent. Stir in the cashew nuts, then add the 5 cups of hot broth.

Let the broth come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat, leave covered and let stand for 5 minutes.

Put the rice in a decorative serving bowl, fluff with two forks and serve immediately.

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