Yummm! Even at the last minute, when you don’t think you are capable of making one more meal! We had this for dinner tonight! Thanks to my friend, Brandee, who shared the idea with me.
This is for all the women in the world who have rice in the cupboard and a little more in the fridge! In order to creatively get dinner on the table in 20 minutes, which may seem like an eternity at the end of your day, improvising is key! Whether it is a picky eater you are dealing with, or the challenge to get your family to the table all together may be daunting at 5:30 pm while you are driving home from another exhaustive day. Don’t even think about the drive thru because this is where I can help you!
Dinner can seem to be such a heavy burden when you are tired and just want to accomplish the task of getting a meal prepared, but think about what a great opportunity this could be to teach your kids, especially teens who need to know how to cook the basics; how to cook rice. They will really appreciate it if they don’t already know how versatile rice can be, and it will take you all of about 5 minutes to get it on the stove and then you just let the magic happen! You will still be eating dinner in 25 minutes tops, while building relationship with your awesome kid(s)!
Here are three recipes for a Persian style feast you will be sure to enjoy! You can take all three recipes and have a complete meal on the table. Again, getting the kids involved will be helpful and memorable. If you have a hurried schedule, just take the pilaf and leftover chicken from the night before or on the way home pick up a nice rotisserie chicken to throw into your rice bowl. The kids absolutely love it! If you know that there is an ingredient your family will not enjoy, omit it or exchange it. That is what makes this your own version of the recipe. No need to reinvent the wheel – just make it your own style of wheel!
When your day seems never ending and time keeps ticking by, remember that rice is your friend in the kitchen! This new twist on rice will stir some conversation around the table! Wow your family and familiarize yourself a little with the Persian culture. Then, share a quick fact or two and they will really be amazed at how smart you are, on top of being a good cook!
I prepared the chicken and the rice in big quantities, and froze them in freezer containers. Then I took one container out tonight and heated it in my pressure cooker with a little liquid for 5 minutes and dinner was ready!
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup basmati rice (or brown rice)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water or broth
3/4 teaspoon curry seasoning
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in basmati rice, curry, and salt; cook and stir until rice is slightly opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in water; stir to combine. Mix in apricots, and almonds; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pilaf to stand covered for 10 more minutes. Stir before serving.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 2 inch pieces
2 onions, cut into large chunks
1 large green or red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
*Optional veggies/fruit for Kabobs: pineapple, mushroom, cherry tomatoes/zucchini
- Whisk together the lemon juice, vegetable oil, plain yogurt, garlic, tomato paste, salt, oregano, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl; add the chicken and toss to coat. Transfer the chicken mixture into a large plastic bag; refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread the chicken, onions, and pepper onto metal skewers giving 1/4 inch in between meat & veggies. Cook on preheated grill until the chicken is golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes each side. Sprinkle the parsley over the skewers.
- Optional oven method: preheat oven to 375 degrees. On lightly greased shallow pan, line Kabobs 1 inch apart and cook in oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Turning Kabobs after 10 minutes for even cooking.
- Serve immediately over rice pilaf or as is on the skewer.
Naan Bread Recipe
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
*This is a great bread to use alongside hummus as an appetizer to meal.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. (If you live in a cooler climate, preheat oven at 140 degrees. Then, turn off oven and place dough into oven to rise. Keep an eye on the dough, it may rise 10 – 15 minutes quicker!
- Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. (You can use an indoor grill or panini press as well!)
- At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared. If you make a double batch, this bread can be bagged in airtight container or ziplock/bread bags. To warm bread, wrap in foil and heat in oven at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes.
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