From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Most cooks who live in the Pacific Northwest have an impressive array of recipes for salmon. The collection comes with the territory. Salmon is abundant here and while it's not inexpensive, even wild varieties are reasonably priced and can be found in all large markets. That means that most of us consume a lot of salmon in the course of a year. My family has a special fondness for miso-glazed salmon and I prepare it often. The glaze is delicious, but its Asian overtones limit the types of dishes that can accompany the fish. While long grain white rice is a logical and perfectly serviceable choice, it gets boring very quickly. Several years ago, Gourmet Magazine featured a recipe for jasmine rice that solved my problems. The rice, which is grown primarily in Thailand, is long grained and has a distinctive nutty taste. It also has a rich aroma that makes it a favorite of many rice connoisseurs. It, unfortunately, can be difficult to make and can become gummy if not properly cooked. The trick to making it successfully lies in thoroughly rinsing the grains before cooking, and then restricting the amount of water in which the grains are steamed or boiled. In Thailand, the rice is actually wrapped in a bundle and steamed over boiling water. Alternately, the rice and water should be added to the pot at the same time and brought to a rolling boil before the heat is reduced to the slow simmer that will complete the cooking. The rice should be allowed to sit, covered, in its pan for about 5 minutes after being taken off the heat. It can then be fluffed with forks and other ingredients, such as scallion greens and peanuts, can be added. This is a really lovely way to prepare rice to serve with Asian dishes. It is not hard to make once you get the hang of things. Obviously, a rice maker would make short work of this, but not all of us have one in our kitchens. This recipe is meant for pioneers. Here's how the rice is made.
Jasmine Rice with Scallion Greens and Salted Peanuts...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Gourmet magazine
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts (2 1/2 oz), finely chopped
2/3 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1) Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear, then drain rice well in a sieve.
2) Bring rice, water, and broth to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in peanuts and scallion greens. Yield: 8 servings.
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