Friday, October 23, 2009

Recipe #25: Jollof Rice in a Crock-Pot

Okay, if you don't have an oven (my first choice) or a stove top (second choice), I think maybe I'd try making a vegetarian jollof rice in a rice cooker (I admit I haven't tried it yet, and I'm so sick of eating my various versions I don't want to try today). BUT, if you have no other choice, yes, you can make a not-so-perfect, but edible, version in the crockpot.

I gave the directions yesterday, but made one simple adjustment while it was cooking. In Ghana they often put a piece of plastic wrap over the covered rice while it is cooking, even though they have a lid on the pot. My guess is that it's to somehow help the rice steam. Anyhow, yesterday I stirred the rice after a couple of hours, from the outside to the inside and the bottom to the top, then cut a piece of parchment paper (I don't trust plastic wrap), and lightly tapped (NOT taped) it over the top of the rice, then replaced the glass cover. It didn't hurt anything, and maybe it helped a little. The vegetarian version was better than the one I made with beef, even though I didn't precook the onions, garlic, etc. Perhaps I'd suggest a little less tomato paste--maybe 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons. For a meat version, I imagine you could either just brown the beef (or lamb, if you prefer) in a little oil first or even try just adding everything in together without even searing it. I let it cook a little less--maybe six hours, too.

I ate my vegetarian version with a spicy Asian boca burger and a little sauteed cabbage.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crockpot Jollof Rice revisited

Okay, after yesterday's discouraging results, today I'm trying a very simplified vegetarian version of a jollof rice putting everything directly into the slow cooker (except the chopped vegetables--I'll still add them in a few hours) and changing quantities.

I only used 1 cup of rice for this experiment, but used over half a cup (half of a large onion) of chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 4 well-drained canned plum tomatoes, seeded and squeezed between my fingers, 1 cup of broth, 1/2 cup of the tomato juice from the can and 1/2 cup water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger, 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, a couple of twists of black pepper from the pepper mill, 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and a heaping 1/4 teaspoonful of red pepper flakes.

I stirred everything but the rice together well in the crock pot first (especially so the tomato paste would mix in) and then added the rice, stirred it again, and then put it on 15 minutes ago to cook on high (I'll turn it to low in an hour and see how long it takes to cook this time). I'll let you know what happens.

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