Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Seventy-Five: Cooking Under Wraps

by Nicole Routhier

                   Molded Rice Salad Provençale

This has potential...

I really wanted to say this was as wonderful as it was beautiful; however the basil and the fishiness of the tuna were the dominate flavors. I always buy canned tuna in water, whereas this called for tuna in oil. I don't know if that makes a big difference in taste. I even left out the anchovies, and I still have an unpleasant aftertaste at the time of this writing. Personally I would use less basil and use tuna packed in water or omit it all together. Maybe add some zucchini or anything else you may have in your refrigerator.

As I was doing a name search on Nicole Routhier, I realized she is the author of The Fruit Cookbook which I have had wonderful results with the recipes from that book. I made one other recipe from this book (Cooking Under Wraps) which I recall was really tasty.

Success meter (1-3): 2

Rainbow Chard

Had a lot of filling leftover.

Molded Rice Salad Provençale
Yield: 4 light lunch or dinner servings

Equipment: Four 8-oz ramekins or soufflé dishes

Mustard Dressing

2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard
2 Tbl. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rice Salad

½ cup long-grain rice
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup coarsely chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup chopped black olives
2 Tbl. capers, drained
4 canned anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped
1 6 ½ -ounce can tuna packed in oil, drained
2 Tbl. chopped fresh chives or scallions
2 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley
¼ shredded fresh basil leaves
8 large Swiss chard leaves

Make the dressing: Place the garlic, mustard, vinegar, and sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then the vegetable oil until slightly thickened and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Make the rice salad: Place the rice in a medium saucepan, add salted water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to moderately high and gently boil for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook until the rice is tender and the corn just cooked through, 3 to 4 more minutes. Drain the rice and corn in a fine-mesh sieve set in the sink, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Transfer the rice and corn to a large bowl and add the remaining salad ingredients. Add ½ cup of the dressing and toss to mix. Cover and set aside. Reserve the remaining dressing.

Blanch the Swiss chard: Place a bowl of ice water next to the sink. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Carefully add the chard leaves, pushing them down into the water with a slotted spoon (I dipped each leaf into the water, holding the stem end) and cook until just wilted, about 5 seconds. Carefully drain the leaves (I just placed them into the ice water and left them there till I was ready to use them) in a colander set in the sink, then transfer them to the bowl of cold water. Let them soak until they are cold, about 5 minutes. Remove the leaves and drain them on clean kitchen towels. Pat them dry. With a small sharp knife, pare down the thick ribs on the back until they are as thin as the leaves.

Assemble the rice salads: Crisscross 2 of the Swiss chard leaves across the bottom of each ramekin, with the ends extending over the sides of the mold. Fill each mold with 1 cup of the rice salad. Fold the overhanging leaves across the top to completely enclose the filling.

To serve: Invert the ramekins onto chilled dinner plates to unmold the rice salads. Spoon some of the reserved dressing around each salad.

Cooking Under Wraps/Nicole Routhier

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