My mom and I absolutely love Greek avgolemono soup. Recently, I made this meatball version when she was visiting. Springtime in a bowl! Light, bright and fresh.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used homemade stock and modified the method.
Yield: Serves 4
1 pound ground chicken, ground turkey, or beef, very cold
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley, plus more for garnish, divided
1/2 cup grated yellow onion (from about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup grated carrot (from about 1 carrot)
1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice, such as Basmati or Carolina, well rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, finely grated, pushed through a garlic press, or minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock + 2 cups chicken stock)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
freshly grated nutmeg, for serving, optional
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/4 cup dill, onion, carrot, rice, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands until well combined.
Gently form the mixture into 24 to 30 meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, placing them on a plate or baking pan. (I used a cookie scoop to evenly ration the meat mixture.)
Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. This helps the meatballs keep their shape while cooking.
In a large pot, bring stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and use a slotted spoon to carefully add meatballs to the pot. The broth should cover the tops of the meatballs by about 1/2 inch. If not, add a little water. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat so the broth doesn’t boil, until meatballs are cooked through and rice is tender, 25 to 35 minutes. (You can break open a meatball to test it.) Remove pot from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until just mixed. Slowly add a ladle of warm broth to egg-lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another two ladles of broth to temper the egg mixture.
Slowly drizzle the egg-lemon mixture back into the pot with the meatballs, stirring gently so you don’t break apart the meatballs.
Return the pot to medium-low heat until it just starts to simmer. (Wait for a bubble or two to appear, but don’t let the pot boil.) The broth should be silky.
Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/2 cup dill. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. (It may need quite a bit of salt if you are starting with unsalted broth.)
Garnish with nutmeg, if you like, and dill, and serve.
I have a Maqlubeh (Maqluba) recipe collection. I have always wanted to make this beautiful, multi-layered, flavor-packed dish but was hesitant because it is a bit of a project. This streamlined version inspired me to finally try it. I even made it on a weeknight! (admittedly a little ambitious…)
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com, contributed by Courtney Hill. I substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs for bone-in. I also used unsalted butter and chicken stock.
When presenting the finished dish, the platter is gently shaken to create cracks in the rice. The cracks reveal the aromas as well as the chicken and vegetables inside. I absolutely loved it- and drove my family crazy talking about it all evening. 😉 Although it could be served as a complete meal on its own, I served it with roasted asparagus and broccoli as well. It is classically served with a tomato, cucumber and yogurt salad. Fantastic.
8 ounces cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 to 10 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 to 3/4 medium eggplant (about 8 to 12 ounces), sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
In a large bowl, combine the rice and 2 tablespoons of coarse salt. Add water to cover by 1 inch, then set aside.
Prepare a lidded pot that measures 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Cut 2 rounds of kitchen parchment the size of the pot. (I cut the rounds slightly oversized so that it had a little bit of a lip.)
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
Set the pot over medium and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering.
Add the chicken “skin side” down and cook until browned, about 7 minutes for boneless or 10 minutes for bone-in. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Remove the pot from heat. Place 1 parchment round on the bottom, then turn to coat it with fat.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the parchment-lined pot, then sprinkle evenly with the almonds.
Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer, then rinse under cool running water and drain again.
Scatter 1 cup of the rice in a thin, even layer over the almonds.
In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining rice with the cauliflower, garlic, melted butter, cumin, allspice, turmeric, nutmeg and 1 3/4 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture, then distribute the remainder in an even layer in the pot.
Place the chicken and accumulated juices (if using boneless, skinless chicken) in the pot, slightly nestling the pieces into the rice-cauliflower layer; discard any accumulated juices (if using bone-in chicken).
Shingle the eggplant slices over the chicken in an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup rice-cauliflower mixture.
Pour the stock into the pot (it will not fully cover the eggplant), then bring to a boil over medium-high. Set the second parchment round over the food, the cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 5 minutes, reduce to low and cook, undisturbed, for 35 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Remove the parchment (and accumulated liquid on the top), then invert a serving platter onto the pot. Holding the platter against the pot, carefully invert the two together; leave the pot overturned on the platter and let rest for about 10 minutes. Slowly lift off the pot and, if needed, remove and discard the parchment.
Gently shake the platter to create cracks in the top of the finished dish.
Baked rice is quick and easy to prepare and is really delicious. This baked rice dish was inspired by prasorizo, the classic Greek rice-and-leek dish. It makes a great vegetarian main dish or a phenomenal side. We ate it as a main dish with rotisserie chicken on the side. 😉 The freshly grated Parmesan really added richness to the meal.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. Almost any vegetable can be incorporated into the dish. I added my beautiful CSA Romanesco cauliflower (with its greens) as well as baby spinach. The original recipe suggests alternatively adding tomatoes, zucchini, and/or broccoli with the leeks, or arugula and/or sliced sugar snap peas after the dish is removed from the oven.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
4 to 5leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, white and pale green parts, cut lengthwise & sliced 1/4-inch thick
chopped tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli florets, and/or cauliflower florets, optional (I used Romanesco cauliflower florets)
1/4cup raw almonds (I used raw slivered almonds), or more, to taste
1/2teaspoon red-pepper flakes
5tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2cups uncooked white basmati rice
1(15-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern), drained and rinsed
2 1/2cups boiling water or stock
coarsely chopped spinach and/or arugula, or sliced sugar snap peas (I used 2 cups chopped baby spinach)
1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Soak sliced leeks in a bowl of water, remove with a slotted spoon or spider, then shake or pat dry.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel 1-inch-thick strips of lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half. Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, combine the leeks, lemon zest strips, almonds, red-pepper flakes and olive oil. (I used an enameled cast iron baking dish.)
If adding chopped tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and/or cauliflower, add to the pan with the leeks. (I added Romanesco cauliflower florets.)
Season generously with salt and pepper, and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the leeks start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
Remove and finely chop the lemon zest strips, then stir the zest back into the leek mixture. Arrange in an even layer.
Sprinkle the rice evenly over the leeks, then top with the beans and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the boiling water or stock, then seal the pan tightly with foil.
Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 22 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
If adding spinach and/or arugula, or sliced sugar snap peas, add them in at this time. (I added the Romanesco cauliflower greens, ribs removed and finely sliced, as well as 2 cups of baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped.)
Squeeze the lemon half over the rice, then stir in Parmesan and herbs.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with lemon wedges, and more Parmesan and herbs, as desired.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am planning on serving shepherd’s pie tonight, but, for those of you serving corned beef and cabbage, this quick dish will put any leftover cabbage to good use. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. We ate it drizzled with sriracha and additional soy sauce. I also served the leftovers with scrambled eggs instead of fried.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
5tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower, plus more as needed (I used canola oil)
3slices thick-cut bacon, in 1/2-inch pieces
1small bunch scallions, whites and greens separated, sliced
4cups shredded cabbage (from about 1/2 small head)
4garlic cloves, minced
6cups cooked rice, white or brown, preferably day-old
2 ½tablespoons fish sauce, plus more as needed
½tablespoon soy sauce, plus more as needed for serving
½cup kimchi, drained and chopped, plus more for serving
½cup green peas (thawed, if frozen)
fried eggs or scrambled eggs, for serving, optional
toasted sesame oil, for drizzling, optional
sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving, optional
One day ahead, cook 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water or stock. Once cool, store in the refrigerator overnight. (I used brown Basmati rice.)
In a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons oil until almost smoking. (I used a large 14-inch stainless steel skillet but a nonstick would have been preferable.)
Stir in bacon, and cook, stirring constantly, until bacon is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, leaving as much oil in the skillet as you can.
Add scallion whites to the pan. Cook until soft, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. If the pan looks dry, drizzle in a little more oil, then stir in cabbage and a pinch of salt. Cook, continuing to stir frequently, until cabbage is soft, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon.
Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and raise heat to high.
Add rice, and a large pinch of salt, then toss thoroughly to coat with oil. Spread out rice in an even layer along the bottom (and sides if in a wok), and drizzle fish sauce and soy sauce over. Let rice sit until sizzling stops and it starts to crackle and crisp, 1 to 4 minutes. Toss, taste, and add more fish sauce or soy sauce if necessary.
Fold in bacon mixture, kimchi and peas, then transfer to plates.
Top with scallion greens, more kimchi to taste, and fried eggs, if using. (I served it with one fried egg per person.)
Drizzle everything with toasted sesame oil and soy sauce, as desired, and serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.
Compared to my last post, this pressure cooker biryani is an even faster version of this full-flavored Indian dish- very tasty but possibly a little less authentic.
There are a couple points to note in order for this dish to be a success. It is very important to use the largest shrimp available to prevent over-cooking. Secondly, when adding the water to the pot, it must be boiling in order for the rice to cook in the allotted time frame.
This recipe was adapted from The Complete Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Chandra Ram via The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the amount of garlic, omitted the curry leaves, and used a stove-top pressure cooker instead of an Instant Pot. Nice.
Yield: Serves 6
2cups Basmati rice
2teaspoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1Serrano chile, minced
2tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1tablespoon minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves)
2teaspoons kosher salt
1teaspoon Chile powder, preferably Kashmiri (I used Ancho)
1teaspoon ground turmeric
1teaspoon smoked paprika
10fresh curry leaves, torn into pieces, optional (if available)(can substitute curry powder, to taste)
1 ½cups boiling water
1 ½pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 or fewer per pound, see note), peeled and deveined
1(15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more wedges for serving
½cup chopped fresh cilantro
Place the rice in a bowl and cover with 2 cups water. Let stand for 20 minutes, then drain and rinse.
Heat oil in the pot of a pressure cooker (set to the sauté function set on high in an electric pot), until oil is shimmering.
Add onion; cook for about 4 minutes, until softened.
Stir in Serrano chile, ginger, garlic, salt, chile powder, turmeric, paprika and curry leaves (if using); cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in boiling water; using a wooden spoon, stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Stir in soaked rice, shrimp and tomatoes (with juice).
Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Quick-release the pressure (on my pot, I rotate the release valve 90 degrees), stir lime juice into the rice, then cover the pressure cooker with a kitchen towel and the lid; let it sit for 5 minutes.
Give rice another stir, then taste and add more salt, if needed.
Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side.
Note: Make sure to use jumbo shrimp or larger for this recipe. Look for “16/20” or “U/15” on the package; this indicates how many shrimp there are per pound.
Baked chicken and rice dishes are an absolute favorite in my house, so I was immediately drawn to this dish adapted from Diana Henry’s From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes that Look After Themselves, contributed to The New York Times by Margaux Laskey.
This Mexican-inspired dish was incredibly flavorful. I loved serving it with all of the garnishes as well. We ate it with sautéed greens on the side. Fabulous!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
8 to 10 (5 pounds) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2T extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil
1large yellow, Vidalia or white onion, chopped
2green or red bell peppers, halved, seeded and sliced (I used my CSA long green peppers)
2 ½cups chicken stock
2red Fresno chiles or jalapeños, halved, seeded and chopped, plus one sliced chile for garnish
1(3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
6garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
1tsp ground cumin
1(15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
6 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1cup white Basmati rice, rinsed in a sieve until the water runs clear
3 T chopped cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, pickled chiles, sliced fresh chiles, sour cream and sliced avocado, for serving, as desired
Heat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch (or larger) ovenproof skillet (the pan size is very important) over medium-high. (I used a large and wide enameled cast iron pan.)
In two batches, brown the chicken on both sides to give it good color, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and bell peppers to the pan and sauté until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
Meanwhile, add the chiles, cinnamon, garlic and cumin to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the black beans and cherry tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the rice on top in an even layer. (It’s important that the black beans are beneath the rice and chicken. The rice will burn otherwise.)
Add the stock and return the chicken to the pan, skin-side up.
Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. The chicken should be lovely and golden, the stock should be absorbed and the rice should be tender.
Sprinkle with the cilantro.
Serve with lime wedges, pickled chiles, sliced fresh chiles, sour cream and avocado (squeeze some lime juice over the avocados in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper), as desired.
Chicken and rice is an absolute favorite in my house. This chicken meat was incredibly tender- falling off the bone- in this pressure cooker version. The rice was full-flavored and fabulous.
This recipe was adapted from The Essential Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook: Authentic Flavors and Modern Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker bye Deborah Schneider. I used a stove top pressure cooker. I branched out from my comfort zone and used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. 😉 I also substituted a Cubanelle for an Anaheim chile and increased the garlic.
We ate it with a green salad. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp saffron threads
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (8 thighs) or 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tsp coarse salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T olive oil
1 small white or red onion, diced
8 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Cubanelle, Anaheim, or Poblano Chile, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced or one 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained (I used Basmati rice)
parsley or cilantro, minced, for garnish
In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to a bare simmer over medium-high heat.
Add the saffron threads to the hot broth and let steep for about 30 minutes.
Season the chicken pieces on all sides with 1 tsp of the salt, the black pepper, and the pepper flakes. (I used a 9×13-inch pyrex dish.)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
Working in batches, add the chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate.
Add onion, garlic, and diced chile to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaf, and the remaining 2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened.
Stir in the saffron-infused broth and the remaining 1 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the rice and, using a wooden spoon, gently swirl the rice until it falls in an even layer.
Return the chicken to the pot, arranging the pieces in an even layer, then pour in any accumulated juices.
Secure the lid and seal under pressure, set to meat/stew on an Instant Pot. (I brought my pot up to high (2nd ring) but may reduce to the first ring next time because a lot of the rice was crispy- but delicious- on the bottom of the pot.)
Cook for 20 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the pressure to venting to release any remaining steam.
Open the pot and let cool for 10 minutes to allow the rice to firm up prior to serving.