Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Orange cranberry rice recipe

Hey everyone!  I am super excited to share a tasty recipe I MADE ALL BY MYSELF.  That's right.  I rule.

Downside.  It was a last minute weeknight meal discovery, and I have no photos.  But I am sure you will do just fine.

Orange-cranberry rice with toasted almonds
1c almonds
1/2 c dried cranberries
2 c white jasmine rice (brown jasmine would work great too, but the cooking times will be different)
3 1/2 c water
1 orange

1) in a medium saucepan, combine the water and rice.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

2) Rinse the outside of the orange off and remove labels, etc.  Zest the entire orange over the pan.  Cut the orange in half, and use a citrus press or your hands to squeeze the juice of the orange into the pan.  Add cranberries and gently fold to combine everything, being careful not to bruise the grains of rice (over stirring will make the rice very sticky). Cover the pan and cook about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed.

3) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.  Coarsely chop the almonds with a knife.  I have not yet found an "easy" way to do this that keeps my fingers safe, so just chop each one, one at a time.  You don't need to cut them really finely, just into 3 or 4 pieces from each almond.  Bigger gives more crunch!  Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake the almonds about 7 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown and fragrant.

4) Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and scoop onto a plate.  Sprinkle the nuts on top of the rice and serve.

I made this VERY impromptu side with Caribean Jerk Chicken that my hubs grilled up along with some veggie kabobs.  The sweet rice went very well with the spicy chicken, and the smoky grilled flavor of the veggies.  I wouldn't pair it with anything bland as I think the flavor will be really off, but with something spicy, it is perfect.  Hope you like it!

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