INCREDIBLY SIMPLE POBLANO TAHDIG

With this post I will upset a lot of people. First, by mixing a classic Middle Eastern recipe with a Mexican component. And second, by making it a much quicker version than the authentic. However, since I first made this version back in 2019, I never stopped. It is by far the most requested side dish by the resident food critic, and I adore it too. My only problem lies with that portion control thing. I tend to over-eat because it’s just too good. The basic method is the same, and to be honest I don’t even measure anything now, because it always works. This version rocked our little world.

POBLANO TAHDIG
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)

1 cup rice
3 cups lightly salted water
1 Poblano pepper, roasted with a touch of olive oil until soft
1/3 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper (or other pepper of your choice)
drizzle of olive oil

Mix the yogurt with the poblano pepper, salt and chipotle pepper. Process with a mini-food processor until smooth. Reserve.

Cook the rice for 12 minutes in salted boiling water and immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Rice and yogurt mixture can sit separately for a couple of hours before continuing.

Mix the rice with the yogurt. Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet and add olive oil, swirling around the whole surface. When the oil starts to get hot, add the rice-yogurt mixture and spread it all over the pan, smoothing the surface with a silicon spoon. Cover the rice with a paper towel moistened with water, then place a lid. Don’t worry if the lid is not totally tight.

Place on a low-burner for exactly 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes check to see if the bottom is golden, if not, increase the heat lightly and remove the lid. Leave it for a minute or two, should be enough to make a nice crust at the bottom. Carefully place a platter on top and invert the rice on it. Cut in wedges to serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The above picture shows what was left once we finished our dinner. We could have inhaled it all, but I decided to consider my lunch next day. If you are a rice lover, please try this method. And now that we loved the poblano version so much, I have plenty of other variations to try. The only thing to keep in mind is under-cooking the rice in the beginning, and choosing a skillet that is right for the amount of rice you have. For 1 cup dry rice, the 10-inch skillet is perfect. Thirty minutes on low-heat. DONE.

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INCREDIBLY SIMPLE TIMES FOUR: DECEMBER 2019

In case you’ve missed my big announcement:
4 days to showtime!

It is a bit hard to believe but my last Incredibly Simple post was 7 months ago, back in May. Better late than never, here I am to share with you four non-recipes that are a regular rotation in our kitchen.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #1

FRIED EGG IN CARAMELIZED CREAM
(from Food52)

1 or 2 eggs
heavy cream to coat a non-stick pan
salt and pepper

Pour the cream in the skillet. Break the egg(s) and place them gently over the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium and let the cream come to a boil.

When the eggs are almost fully set, remove from heat and cover with a lid for a couple of minutes (this will finish the egg  cooking to a perfect texture)

Sprinkle more salt and pepper if so desired, and serve over your favorite side dish.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #2

BREAD CRUMBS

I used to make bread crumbs in the food processor. I thought I was so virtuous and clever. Until I got a particularly hard baguette that refused to cooperate with the efforts of my Cuisinart.

First picture shows the “crumbs” made in the processor. The other two show a before and after using the Vitamix, pulverized in less than 30 seconds!  I am so in love with it, will never use any other method. I apologize if this is common knowledge but I decided to share just in case someone was living in the same cave I’ve been living, as far as bread crumbs are concerned.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #3

AIR-FRIED CROUTONS

Cut bread into crouton size. Place in bowl. Spray with olive oil or drizzle a little oil all over and mix well. Season with Herbes de Provence, a touch of salt and pepper.

Place in air-fryer set at the highest temperature for 5 to 8 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times if you remember to do that (no big deal if you just leave them there unattended).

The croutons will have perfect texture and just the right amount of oil.

INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #4

RICE WITH TAHDIG
(adapted from several sources)

We love rice, particularly Persian-style, with that delicious crust called tahdig. Most recipes are pretty involved, but I got this shortcut method that works surprisingly well. My apologies if I abuse a very traditional recipe, but let this be a profession of my love for it, and the desire to have it as quickly as possible at the dinner table.

white rice, cooked, about 2 cups
2 Tablespoons full-fat yogurt
pinch of saffron
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil

Mix the yogurt with the saffron and salt. Add to the cooked rice. If rice was in the fridge, warm it in the microwave for just a minute to bring it closer to room temperature before adding the yogurt.

Drizzle olive oil on a 10 inch non-stick skillet. Place over medium-high heat, when the oil starts to get nice and hot, spoon the rice/yogurt mixture in a layer covering the bottom of the pan. Place a towel on top, close the lid. Keep it on low-heat for 20 minutes, check to see if it is golden underneath, increase the heat to medium-high until it gets to the color and crust you enjoy.

You might have to make the recipe once or twice until you get it just right.

So there you have it, four super simple recipes for you to choose from.  Fried egg is my favorite kind of lunch, and since I have no cholesterol issues, I can fry it in heavy cream without feeling too guilty. Obviously, I don’t do it on a daily basis. The tahdig is definitely a weekly thing. If I want to cook it from scratch, I bring a large amount of salted water to a rolling boil, pour 1 cup of rice in the pot, cook it stirring every once in a while for 12 minutes. Drain, and proceed with the recipe. It turns out a little better in terms of texture than using pre-cooked rice from the fridge. It does add another 15 minutes or so to the preparation, but it’s worth it.

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