Bigfoot found a fictional name generator and apparently my chef name is Boilin’ Bomlea. Go figure, I burn stuff sometimes. His was much more boring, after a few attempts he got BBQ’in Bigfoot, which isn’t anything to do with kitchen explosions at all. I like to think that I have a flamboyant style, rather than posing a threat to anyone else in a 10m radius of the stove.
He made these puffs, but doesn’t seem keen to guestpost. But, unless I write down the recipe, I’m pretty sure he will forget exactly how they’re made and then I’ll never get to try them. This would make me sad, because they look pretty tasty. And also, they appear to present the perfect laziness:impressiveness ratio that I do love so. Hence, I could not let such a snack be relegated to the depths of “some random yummy puff I ate that day”.
He also takes much better iPhone pictures than me. Though I suspect everyone takes better iPhone pictures than me. Cry cry. I shall never be a photographer.
The story behind this is that I needed to use what was left behind in the cupboard, and it had to be something that went with the broccoli-feta thing. And I wanted rice, and you can’t really do Asian style rice with broccoli-feta. And I wanted something that would taste pretty nice, because I thought I was going to hate the broccoli-feta.
This isn’t really a fair way to describe a happy accident. I don’t want you to think that I’d only made this because I wanted something that went with broccoli-feta. Actually, I made this because I needed something that would taste way more awesome than broccoli-feta to compensate for what I thought was going to be a veritable vegetable disaster.
That’s a pretty large set of shoes to fill, especially since this is a recipe which was entirely made up based on what was left in the cupboard. I’m happy to report that it did deliver.
It’ll also be a pretty good one-pot meal if you add the vege directly into the rice. Don’t use broccoli though. Please? I suggest perhaps little cubes of eggplant. Soaked in salty water and dried. Then added into the rice.
Baked Rice with Caramelised Onions and Spicy Seafood
Inspired by The Little Teochew. The method is mostly taken from there, but the ingredients used are pretty unrelated. You can pretty much put anything in here, depending on what you have in the cupboard. Not broccoli though.
1 cup rice – uncooked / raw. Equivalent to 2 cups cooked.
100g mixed seafood
1 red onion
A handful of raisins
A handful of cashewnuts – roasted, preferably unsalted. I used some from a snack packet.
1/2 a lime’s worth of juice – for the seafood marinade
1 tablesp of chilli flakes or less – for the seafood marinade
2-3 tablesp balsamic vinegar
1/2 – 1 teasp sugar – to caramelise the onions
1/4 cup water – optional, I didn’t add it because I like my rice less clumpy
Enough hard cheese to cover a baking dish – any cheese is alright really, I used cheddar but you can probably us mozeralla or something else
Oven temperature: approx 220 degrees C. Or you can use the grill setting.
Cook your rice according to the instructions. Or better, use old rice.
Sort out your seafood:
Marinate the seafood in the lime juice and chilli. Add a pinch of salt. A Tabasco sauce marinade would probably work too (= soak it in some Tabasco sauce).
Fry the seafood until partially cooked. You just want to make sure it’s fully cooked by the time you eat it later, basically. If you want you can skip this step but you’ll need to leave it in the oven longer. That would probably work.
Sort out your balsamic sauce:
Chop the onions, and brown over low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir occasionally, leaving it to caramelise. It’s done when the edges of the onion are a bit blackened, and it tastes good. Sweet yet tart.
Mix the raisins, and cashewnuts into the rice.
Put the rice into the pan with the balsamic sauce, and fry it for a bit. Then put it in the ovenproof dish. Add the water at this point and mix in. The water isn’t really necessary (I didn’t add it), but if you want it to clump together more then you should.
Smooth out the rice and poke the seafood bits into it at various intervals.
Cover the top with hard cheese. We used cheddar, and added a bit of grated parmasan and almond dukkah for good measure. Only because we had a little leftover. You don’t need to do that.
Bake / grill until the cheese melts. Keep it in a little longer for a more crusty finish. If you haven’t cooked the seafood, you should probably leave it in the oven for a good 20 minutes.
Bel and I frequent Sakae Sushi quite regularly, and on one of those visits we tried the magnificent Hotate Mentaiko. I suspect, primarily because of its exciting name. It’s a thick layer of mentaiko (cod-roe with japanese mayo, for the uninitiated like us), on top of a fried scallop with breadcrumbs. It’s one really really large bite size. Every time we ate it, that was the end of the meal. We always felt sick afterwards. Though very tasty sickness during the first couple of bites I must admit.
In any case, being the overly ambitious people that we are we thought we could do a better job. Specifically at mentaiko pasta. Maybe next time there will be hotate 🙂
There are a lot of mentaiko pasta recipes floating around the internet, we picked the one that seemed the least rich. A word of caution, mentaiko is kinda gross when you buy it from the Japanese supermarket – it smells kinda strong and makes you feel like you doing serious fish surgery. Also it looks like a finger.
Mentaiko Pasta with Shimeji Mushrooms
Linguine – enough for two Mentaiko – one egg sac, fresh from mummy fish’s belly Butter – one tablespoon Kewpie Mayo – one squirt Shimeji Mushrooms – a handful Garlic – a couple of cloves (we used about 5 for 2 people, not everyone is as bold)
Fry mushrooms with a generous helping of chopped garlic.
Boil linguine in salty, oily water.
Remove the Mentaiko from the egg sack. Mix mentaiko, softened butter and kewpie mayo.