Stuck-Pot Rice with Potato Crust and Broiled Shrimp

Serves 4.

  • Salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice, well rinsed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. ground fennel (not seeds)
  • 1 medium waxy potato (thin-skinned variety like Yukon Gold)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced. Chop and reserve the feathery leaves for garnish.
  • 3 scallions, sliced crosswise in ¼ inch slices.
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • broiled shrimp

Prepare the rice

  1. Fill a medium pot with lightly salted water, and bring to boil.
  2. Stir in rice, return to boil and reduce heat so water is at a lively simmer.
  3. Cook undisturbed about 5 minutes; drain, and set aside. Rice will be only partly done.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare vegetables

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil with the ground fennel.
  2. Add the chopped garlic.
  3. Peel potatoes, and cut crosswise into thin slices.
  4. Put remaining butter and oil in large heavy-bottom pot.
  5. Add fennel, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  6. Transfer fennel to a plate, and set aside.

Construct the stuck-pot

  1. Add ¼ cup water and butter-oil-ground fennel-garlic mixture to pot.
  2. Sprinkle the sliced scallions on bottom of pot and then carefully cover the scallions with a layer of potato slices.
  3. Add half the rice, then fennel, then remaining rice.
  4. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around lid of pot so it completely covers inside of lid; gather corners on top so they do not fall anywhere near stove.
  5. Place lid on pot, sealing tightly.
  6. Turn heat to medium-high.
  7. When you hear water spattering – in about 5 minutes – turn heat down very low.
  8. Cook undisturbed about 45 minutes. If the potatoes do not smell toasty turn the heat to high for about 4 or 5 minutes and let it sizzle and brown. Don’t let it burn.
  9. Remove from heat, and let sit 5 minutes more.
  10. Carefully remove lid and cloth, and turn pot upside down over a platter.
  11. If potatoes come out in a single crust, terrific. If not, use a spatula to scrape pieces out of pan and onto rice.
  12. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with the reserved feathery fennel leaves and serve with broiled shrimp.





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