Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Leftover Jewels

I love one pot dishes. Anything which can be served in a wide pasta style bowl, in front of the tv if necessary, and eaten one handed with a fork is a winner for me. Pasta obviously fits this criteria, but so do other dishes too. Stir fries with noodles, risottos, mixed "special fried" rice - these are dishes which can be dressed up to serve friends for dinner or eaten casually as an after work supper, propped up with a cushion.

I know I have mentioned my Syn Free But Utterly Delicious Risotto before, and also my Hyderabadi chicken biryani, but last week I added a new dish to my bowl friendly repertoire: pilaf. The rice is cooked in a seasoned stock and mixed with whatever takes your fancy. The one I chose to try, having never had a pilaf before, was from a book by everyone's favourite kitchen Goddess, Nigella Lawson's Kitchen. My copy is slightly charred after my mum accidentally set it on fire but the contents are still perfect with its splashes and notes, and the split spine just adds to the charm of a book I truly love.

Nigella's Mixed Meat Pilaf is warm with cumin and coriander, light and aromatic with thyme. I used mixed wild rice and basmati, a couple of syns on some toasted pine nuts, stuffed it with budget friendly leftover mustard pork roast from the weekend with added shredded chicken, and finally sprinkled with jewel like ruby red pomegranate seeds. These are my new favourite thing - sweet and sour with a slight crunch, I could eat them all day. The beauty of a dish like this, of course, is that anything goes - a quick rifle through the fridge and you have another versatile, healthy, family friendly dish. Obviously my change was frylight over the specified vegetable oil, and as such it does require additionsl seasoning. Frylight does not offer the flavour of oil and I do find extra salt and pepper are required - to taste, obviously, but I think without this frylight could leave your grub a little bland.

Richy and I both enjoyed this hugely and it will most definitely be on my make again list. It is a perfect carrier for leftovers and to be honest that makes it a huge winner for me. Healthy, cheap, tasty, interesting - who needs rabbit food?

Thanks again, Nigella!


  1. 400 words, and no mention that it was ME who actually cooked this wonderful dish? Bah humbug.

    I suppose it's all in the chopping and preparing (which my wonderful sous chef did for me) and a monkey could have done the actual cooking, right? :P

  2. That's right. I did all the hard work putting the ingredients in little bowls for you.

    You're welcome ;)