4 Golden Spoons
My local gourmet store had a demonstration of this handy device that takes plain sushi rice and presses it into spectacular little gourmet squares. The apparatus is simple and really just involves a sliding panel that fits into a cube base. You join the two pieces together, lift the hinged top and pack rice and chosen fillings into a well that is formed in the base. A simple squeeze and you can cube just about anything; risotto, polenta, potato, cheese, etc. The trick is to have a mixture that has enough starch or stickiness to hold your other ingredients together. I steamed some plain jasmine rice, let it cool, filled half of the well with rice and then followed with a couple of bits of pickled beets for color. I put a bit more rice on top and engaged the press to create a beautiful white and pink cube that slid easily out of the device once pressing was complete.
An Absolutely Delicious And Colorful Side Dish
2 Cups Basmati Rice
½ Tsp Saffron Threads
1 Tsp Sugar
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
¼ Cup Silvered Almonds
4 Tblsp Butter
Rinse two cups of basmati rice well. Place into a large dutch oven or cooking pot. Cover with water to about 4 inches above the rice and add about 2 tsps of salt. Bring to a boil on the stove top over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, until the rice is tender. About 15-20 minutes. Drain through a calendar or strainer and set aside.
Grind the saffron threads with the sugar in a mortar & pestle until fine. Return the empty cooking pot to the stove top. Add ¼ cup of water, ground saffron/sugar, 4 tblsps of butter to the pot and bring to a boil. Return the rice to the pot and mix with the saffron mixture until bright yellow and even in color. Add the cranberries and slivered almonds and heat on low until hot enough to serve.
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