SMOKED RICE, you say? Yes, this is a product which has its origins in Persian cuisine. Produced in Germany by a company that ships basmati rice, already a scented variety, this long grain rice is smoked over beech wood which gives it a very gentle scent that complements the already characteristic scent/flavor of basmati. Basmati is a rice variety which has the unusual quality of elongating without widening. The grains become almost an inch in length with a fluffy texture.
If you enjoy plain rice as an alternative accompaniment to meats, SMOKED BASMATI will satisfy both your taste for rice and your taste for something more exotic. Cooking rice is simplicity itself, but you cannot cook only a little. About two cups of rice is a minimum amount to cook. It tends to cook better in slightly larger amounts than in small. Rice leftovers are always a treat to have on hand and here is a very simple, yet delicious way of using them.
This is a recipe from the noted British food expert, ELIZABETH DAVID, and something I enjoy frequently as a first course: Rice with egg. In Elizabeth’s cookbook, Italian Food, it is called Uovo col Riso. The recipe is simplicity itself.
Take as many eggs as diners. Boil the eggs gently for 4 minutes, so the yolks remain liquid. Cool them in cold water and then shell carefully. Halfway fill individual ramekins or souffle dishes previously buttered and dusted with grated Parmigiano with leftover cold rice. Place the shelled egg on top of the rice. Drizzle a tablespoon of clarified butter and a sprinkle of Parmigiano on the egg and rice. Put into a shallow pan with enough boiling water to come up halfway to the dishes. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove carefully and set before the diners. A grind of good pepper (or a sprinkle of piment d’Esplette) will do no harm.