If it weren’t for bacon, I think I could be a vegetarian. Okay, bacon and the occasional steak. And maybe the odd roast chicken. But really, at the end of the day (when all’s said and done), I far prefer grains and veggies. I mention this because the following meal has no meat, except for an egg if you count that.
This is another Jamie Oliver recipe. I found this one on his website yesterday while looking for the link to the Empire chicken & roasties recipe. It’s actually called Spiced Veggie Rice with Poached Eggs and the recipe can be found HERE.
It was great. Really tasty and the perfect kind of meal to put leftovers to good use. I had very few leftovers to throw into it, but it inspired me to make extra roast veggies in the future so that I could use them for this. Instead, I roasted some leeks, asparagus, beets and small potatoes (with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt & pepper) for 40 minutes at 400F and they were excellent. I also roasted some kale to throw into the mix at the same temperature for a quick 10 minutes when the other veggies were nearing done.
This recipe also calls for the use of an ovenproof pan in order to cook the rice. I really didn’t feel like hauling the dutch oven out of the basement, and I don’t have any smaller cast iron pots so I ignored those instructions and cooked everything on the stove in one medium sized pot.
This is another recipe where I would suggest that ingredients be pre-measured and prepped prior to the start of cooking. I seem to be using A LOT of turmeric these last few days and that is a welcome ingredient. Especially because I didn’t think I had any and bought a second giant bag only to discover its twin sitting in the cupboard.
Anyway, this recipe really only required a couple minutes of labour to prep, but the whole process of bashing up the cardamom pods and coriander seeds would really set you back if you tried to get that organized with the spring onions, garlic and bay leaf sizzling away. Again, I didn’t have a red chilli (what is with Jamie and the red chillies!) so I used jalapeño. Also, I have read and re-read that recipe a few times and in the instructions it mentions to combine the cumin, but does not list cumin in the ingredients list with quantities. Based on other Jamie recipes, he seems to match turmeric and cumin quantities, so I decided one teaspoon of cumin sounded sufficient. I had already washed the basmati rice – something never mentioned in the recipe, and threw the dry rice into the pot and rolled it around so it all had that really nice yellow colour. I added more water than I usually would to basmati and never actually measured the quantity of water, just making sure the water level fell about 1cm above the rice in the pot. When the rice was done, I added the roasted veggies and kale and rolled them about to combine them. I squeezed in the juice of one lime and threw in a small handful of roughly chopped mint. I also didn’t have the pomegranate seeds, so I neglected that part.
I poached the eggs using the ramekin trick. Have you heard of this? Probably. So line a ramekin with clingfilm and break the egg into it, pull the corners up and tie them tightly so the water doesn’t get it. Then you can just put the clingfilm right into the water and you get perfectly formed poached eggs! Easy peasy!
Overall – it’s a make again. Some real spice to it, but not overpowering. Little effort and very much a meal that you can cook while doing 12 other things at the same time.
Update: made this for my work lunch today with leftover roasted zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus and tomatoes — equally delicious. It really is the kind of meal that you can throw together with anything you have kicking around the fridge.