A Speedy Company Dinner

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

We had company for dinner last night. And since I’m in the middle of getting my house ready for a reunion of former coworkers on Friday, I didn’t have a lot of time to pull this meal together.

When I need a no-fuss main dish, I rely on Spicy Grilled Shrimp. The shrimp are grilled in their shells after marinating for just 30 minutes. And clean-up is a breeze when there are no pots and pans to wash afterwards.

Another go-to choice when I am time-pressed is Herbed Rice, an easy side dish I developed over the years. Simply cook rice in canned chicken broth and water, then toss with a mixture of minced onion, butter and herbs. If you own a rice cooker, this one is as easy as it gets. This rice will go with shrimp, fish or chicken—and plays well with any meats.

Herbed Rice
2 ¼ cups long-grain rice (or 3 rice cooker cups of rice)
1 can (14.5 ounces) less sodium chicken broth, plus water as needed
1 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (see note)

Cook rice in a rice cooker, substituting chicken broth for the water. You will need more liquid than the 1 can of broth; use water for the remainder.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. And onion and sauté, just until onion is cooked, about 2 minutes. Add herbs and toss in the heat for about 30 seconds, just to take the raw edge off; set aside. When rice is done, use a wooden rice paddle or a large spoon to fluff the rice; scrape butter mixture into rice pot and toss to coat evenly. Makes about 6 servings.

Notes:

  • For the ¼ cup of herbs, I used 1 tablespoon of chopped dill to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley. You can use all parsley, or cilantro, basil, or just about any fresh herb you like in combination with parsley, that would work with your main dish.
  • When I have it, I like to add a handful of chopped toasted almonds or toasted pine nuts to the rice.
  • If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook the rice on stovetop following package instructions.

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Posted: Feb 19th by Sandy_Hu