A photo, a quote, and some recipes…

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“Rice is a beautiful food. It is beautiful when it grows, precision rows of sparkling green stalks shooting up to reach the hot summer sun. It is beautiful when harvested, autumn gold sheaves piled on diked, patchwork paddies. It is beautiful when, once threshed, it enters granary bins like a (flood) of tiny seed-pearls. It is beautiful when cooked by a practiced hand, pure white and sweetly fragrant.”

~Shizuo Tsuji 

For rice recipes, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Basmati Rice with Saffron…

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Here is another very easy but delicious rice dish. And again–as I say with most my recipes–this is a guide and not carved in stone…interchange ingredients as you like them; it is the method that is important. Speaking of variations, the difference between the recipe pictured and the one typed below is that below there are raisins in the recipe whereas the one pictured has carrots. Both are equally delicious, but just variations. The recipe typed below was featured in this cookbook somewhat recently. It’s a good book featuring local Buffalo chefs, I just wish they would have used a different photo of me (no kidding). Anyhow, this is a very easy recipe and really delicious.

Basmati Pilaf with Almonds and Raisins

Makes about 6 cups


2 tablespoons clarified butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups Basmati rice or other long grain rice

3 1/2  cups hot chicken broth

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup toasted almonds

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the saffron, salt, and pepper; sauté another minute. Stir in the rice and broth. Cover the pot and for 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the stove and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins and toast­ed almonds.


Urban Simplicity.

Rice with Fish and Other Good Things…

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Okay. So this is good. Really good. Delicious, if I do say so. It’s also relatively easy to make. And of course this recipe–like most that I post here–is not carved in stone. It’s intended to be more of a guide. Interchange, add, or delete ingredients or seasonings that you like, don’t like, or happen to have on hand. It’s more of an idea of how to make a really delicious one-pot meal. Anyhow, if you like fish, try this. You wont be sorry. Did I mention it was delicious?



Tilapia and Brown Rice with Asparagus, Black Beans, Hot Pepper, Lemon, and Saffron


Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 small carrot, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

1 pinch saffron threads

1 cup brown rice

2 ½ cups simmering chicken broth

½ cup lemon juice

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 (15oz can) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ½ pounds tilapia, diced

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook the vegetables for a couple minutes while stirring, then add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Stir in the hot pepper and saffron, cook for a minute, then add the rice. Stir the rice to coat it with the oil and seasonings, then stir in the simmering broth, lemon juice, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer the rice untouched for about 30 minutes. After thirty minutes check the rice. It should be nearly done. If it is not add additional broth. Then layer the beans, tilapia, and asparagus on top of the rice without stirring and re-cover the pot. Cook the rice for another ten minutes and remove from the heat. Allow the pot to sit for five minutes. Gently fold the beans, asparagus, and fish into the rice just before serving.

Urban Simplicity.