Cupboard staples and how to use them: Rice
In most cultures across the world, rice is standard fare. This doesn’t mean, however, that it can’t stand out at on any dinner table. Yes, the crop makes up a huge proportion of our calorie consumption, but it’s more than just a source of carbs: it’s a vessel for flavour. Whatever the variety, this go-to grain can carry all kinds of spices and soak up all manner of sauces. We’ve compiled a list of recipes using standard white or basmati – including a few from some of the world’s best chefs – that will rekindle your relationship with rice.
Leonor Espinosa’s Arroz Sepultado
Ranked on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Leonor Espinosa’s eponymous Leo celebrates Columbian cuisine at its most refined. However, since being quarantined in Bogota the revered chef has been offering up her recipes to keen home cooks. One of the simplest yet most satisfying is her Arroz Sepultado (buried rice), cooked up using kitchen staples pepper, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, Italian hard cheese and of course, rice.
Nigel Slater’s Roast Onion and Caramelised Figs
Alongside fragrant rice, Nigel Slater’s roast onion and caramelised figs make for a delicious treat that’s sure to spice up your repertoire. A hit of miso and sesame seasoning mingles with herby bay, cardamom and lemon-infused basmati for a subtle Japanese-Indian fusion that will take your palette on a trip around Asia.
Gaggan Anand’s Chicken Tikka Masala
For a more British impression of India, world-famous chef Gaggan Anand, who has recently opened up a new eponymous restaurant in Bangkok following the closure of his last Michelin-starred venture, shares with us his version of one of our most classic curries. Anand’s chicken tikka masala breaks down the well-loved dish into an easy-to-follow method that anyone can try at home.
Jamie Oliver’s Egg Fried Rice
If you’re tired of takeaway, or don’t have the money to splash out, Jamie Oliver’s Singapore-style egg fried rice tutorial gives you the option to save money by recreating the classic yourself. The best part is that you are able to tailor the recipe to whatever you have in the cupboard, using up leftover meat and veg – he even throws in a spare sausage so don’t be afraid to experiment.
The Hairy Bikers’ All-in-One Spicy Pork and Rice
Often we serve up rice as a side, but if there’s anything classic dishes such as risotto and paella have taught us, it’s that letting the grains simmer with the rest of your ingredients makes for the most intense flavour. While it’s less likely you might have these specialist rice varieties in store, The Hairy Bikers’ All-in-One Spicy Pork and Rice packs a lot of punch using everyday easy-cook rice. What’s more, that also means it’s a look quicker to cook up.
Olive Magazine’s Groundnut Chicken Stew
Another continent that’s big on rice is, of course, Africa, and there’s no more authentic representation of African cooking than a succulent groundnut (peanut) stew. Olive Magazine’s interpretation is an easy recipe using storecupboard staples that you can throw in the slow cooker in the morning and serve up for a hearty evening meal.
Senegalese-style Chicken Rice courtesy of Yannick Aleno’s Abysse team
Instead of divulging some of his own dishes throughout lockdown, Yannick Alléno has been sharing the recipes of his staff. From the Parisian two-Michelin-starred L’Abysse, Alouine’s Senegalese-style chicken rice is easy to rustle up from ingredients in the house and makes for a great mid-week supper. Check out Alléno’s page for even more of his team’s delicious dishes.
Delia Smith’s Kedgeree
Last but not least, a beloved breakfast harking back to the Victorian era. Who better to impart the secret of this British classic than national treasure Delia Smith? Delia’s kedgeree combines flakey smoked haddock with hot curry powder, fresh parsley and sharp lemon for a comforting plate that can be just as easily enjoyed early in the morning, as part of a leisurely lunch or late in the evening.