Sunday, January 18, 2015

1 Tin Of Old Fisherman Roasted Eel In Rice With Other Proteins And Veggies --

-- along with 1 cooked bratwurst, a tin of anchovies, broccoli, onion, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cilantro, ginger, allspice, paprika, cumin, basil, hot sauce and tomatoes -- is good! The eel is not a pronounced flavor among all those other flavors jostling for position, but it definitely adds to the overall experience, in flavor and also in texture.

What I like to do is chop up an onion and some other vegetable or vegetables -- doesn't have to be broccoli -- very fine, chop up some protein -- doesn't have to be bratwurst, anchovies and eel, that's just what I happened to have on hand this time. Doesn't have to be salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cilantro, ginger, allspice, paprika, cumin and basil either, that just happens to be a combination I like for this recipe. This time I added hot sauce and 1 big chopped-up tomato after the cooking was done.

But before I start to prepare any of those ingredients I put a frying pan onto a low burner and let it warm up while I do the prep. What I like to do is to put all the veggies, protein and seasoning into one bowl so that I can add them all to the pan in one easy motion.

When I was using a smaller pan I found that 1 cup of long-grained rice and 1 1/2 cups of water yielded good al dente rice. Now I've got a much bigger pan, and I've found that I have to use less water or the rice comes out too limp and soggy, so now I use 1 1/4 cups rice and 1 1/4 cups water. Use the proteins, vegetables and seasonings you like, and adjust the ratio of rice to water until it comes out the way you want it.

When the pan has warmed up, melt some butter in it, then put the rice rice in the butter and stir it very vigorously until every grain has butter on it. This should take about 2 minutes. Then turn the heat up to high, then add the water, then add everything else except the hot sauce and tomato, then put a lid on the pan and bring it to a good rolling boil.

When I've done this I've always put glass lids on the pans so I can see when it boils. If you use a non-see-through lid -- I don't really know what to tell ya. About 5 minutes on my stove brings the mixture to a boil, but of course stoves vary greatly.

When it's at a good full boil, turn the heat back down to low and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes or so, until the rice has reached the texture you like. When it's what I call done, some of the grains of rice on the bottom are brown and crispy, which to me is good. To me that's not burnt, it's an added element of crispy texture. If that's burnt to you, then shorten the cooking time, or if shortening the cooking time leave the rice too soggy, start with less water.

And then stir it all up, and then stick a fork in yourself because you're done. Unless you want to add something more, like hot sauce, or cheese, or fresh tomato, or whatever. Serves 4 or so.

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