I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

January 13, 2011

Arroz al Horno (p. 233) and Fricassee of WIld Mushrooms (p. 326)

Arroz al Horno is Rice Baked in the Oven and includes a recipe for the cocido (the stock) which I opted not to do because a) I've already made homemade chicken stock before and b) I wasn't entirely sure that it was worth the process. So, I just used Fresh Market stock and hoped for the best.

Begin by simmering chickpeas in chicken stock to soften them up -- this process takes about forty minutes. In the mean time, you've got about a billion things (or maybe just four) to brown (separately) in olive oil; potato chunks, peeled garlic, halved tomatoes, and cubes of lean pork. As each ingredient browns remove it from the oil. Once the pork is done, add in chopped tomato and simmer down for just a couple of minutes and then stir in rice, salt and pepper, and paprika.

I got lazy and browned multiple ingredients at once.

When all the ingredients are cooked, assemble the recipe. Place the garlic in the middle of an oven dish and surround it with the pork and rice mixture. Pour the chickpeas (along with their remaining broth) over the top, pushing the beans down into the rice. Settle the tomato halves on top with the potatoes all around them. Lastly, pour more simmering chicken stock over everything; this is how the rice will cook.

Bake for about 20 minutes until most of the stock is absorbed and then set aside covered in aluminum foil for an additional five minutes before serving.

This was good but not quite as delicious as I had hoped for. I really liked the flavors of the chickpeas and pork but it seemed to be lacking flavor in the rest of the dish. I'm happy for the leftovers but it's not something I would make again, at least without changing a bunch of the ingredients and seasoning.

Luckily, with this I made a side of Fricassee of WIld Mushrooms to give a little addition to the flavor sector of our meal. It's super simple to make -- just sauté onions in olive oil until soft and then add chopped, cleaned mushrooms. Keep over the heat until the mushrooms have absorbed the olive oil and then rereleased it and have become quite soft. Add salt and pepper and then quickly stir in egg beaten with lemon juice. Mix everything up and serve immediately, on top of toasted bread.

I loved how creamy and flavorful this was, and the toasted bread added a great texture to the dish. I just picked up the bread and ate it that way -- it could almost be considered finger food. Plus, so easy! I'd definitely eat this again.

tomatoes -- $4.12
pork -- $2.88
potato -- $.72
chicken broth -- $3.99 (about 2 cups left)
Total Cost of Arroz al Horno: $11.71
($2.34 per serving)

mushrooms -- $2.50
rolls -- $1.99 (several left) 
onion -- $1.55 (3/4 left over)
Total Cost of Fricassee of Wild Mushrooms: $6.04
($2.01 per serving)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.