Forgive me readers, but I’m going to take a small detour through the Edmonds Cookbook index. Hot on the heels of Almond Biscuits is Almond Icing (yes, there are indeed a lot of almond-based recipes in the Edmonds Cookbook, and they’re not going away any time soon).
For those of you familiar with Christmas Cake, and I can only imagine that is all of you, you will be acquainted with Almond Icing, which is the thick layer of gluey white sugary substance plastered on the top of your cake. If you come from my family, the almond icing will also be adorned with some plastic holly and a slightly inebriated-looking Father Christmas on a sleigh with some of his reindeer missing.
It would be a terrible waste to make almond icing, only to have it sit around on its lonesome without a cake to call home. And so, with your good grace, readers, I will skip almond icing and revisit it when I reach the christmas cake section. Hopefully I manage to time this for Christmas.
Next up, then, is Almond Rice. What is this fascinating dish?, I hear you ask. Almonds cut into rice-shaped pieces? Some kind of confetti to be thrown at weddings?
Almond rice is, in fact, a rice dish featuring not only almonds, but also raisins, butter, stock and of course rice. I’m not really sure of its origins. I would say that perhaps it is Edmonds’ answer to pilaf, however this already features in the mighty book. I remember something similar from childhood BBQs that also involved curry powder, so perhaps it is something of a simple retro classic. Ring any bells for anyone?
For your very own Almond Rice, you will need:
- 25 g butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 & 1/2 cups liquid chicken stock
- I cup long grain rice
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
One begins by melting the butter. I just love to watch butter melt. Yum.
Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is clear. Is it just me, or is there something especially delicious about the smell of onion and garlic when they’re cooking in butter?
Stir in raisins, stock, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to the boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
I made the most of this time by toasting my almond slices. Not wishing to dirty a big frying pan for only a small amount of almonds, I decided to use this cute little heart-shaped frying pan, the real purpose of which is to fry eggs with a little heart-shaped yolk. This was not the best idea I ever had as it was hard to stir them about and toast them evenly given the pan is small, so perhaps do not try this at home. But doesn’t it look cute?
Once the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed, stir the mixture and add all but one tablespoon of your almonds.
Edmonds now requires that one arranges the almond rice on a serving platter and garnishes with the remaining almonds. My plan was to eat this for lunch the following day, so you will just have to use your imagination with this picture of my almond rice in my lunch container. I did garnish it with the reserved almonds however.
This was pretty tasty. Definitely worth cooking with the butter as this gives it a nice savoury note, and the little raisins plump up in the stock most pleasingly.