Risotto is not exactly a make-ahead food—no matter what tricks you use, it always requires last-minute finishing right before serving. But by using the tricks we developed for rice balls, it's possible to turn a classically a-la-minute dish into a make-ahead baked casserole. Like baked mac-and-cheese, but with rice.
'rice' on Serious Eats
Scarred by childhood memories of dry, tasteless rice balls, I set out to create arancini the way we all want them to be: crisp on the outside with a shattering crust that breaks open to reveal tender grains of rice suspended in a rich and flavorful creamy sauce. At at the center: stretchy melted mozzarella cheese.
This salad from Yotam Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, Plenty More, has a lot going on and everything going for it. A beautiful mix of grains, crunchy almonds and pine nuts, chewy dried cherries, silky onions, and enlivening arugula, basil and tarragon—every bite is fairly dazzling.
With the help of a pressure cooker, risotto becomes an insanely easy and hands-off cooking method. Here, it's loaded with layer upon layer of the flavors of fall: butternut squash, sage, brown butter, and just a hint of apple and maple syrup to round it out.
Spiced snapper is seared and served on top of brown rice mixed with black beans and tomatillos. Creamy avocado and queso fresco finish of the dish for a healthy and hearty meal in under an hour.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
These plump chicken breasts are stuffed with an andouille-spiked rice and vegetable mixture, then topped with a creamy Creole shrimp sauce.
This black rice salad is full of color: avocado and cilantro for a shock of green, mangoes, and oranges for some stark contrast, followed by a sprinkle of red onion and a shower of earthy, crunchy pepitas, all tied together with chili and cumin-spiked orange vinaigrette.
I'm a sucker for the bright intensity of the humble and accessible radish, which makes a hot pink appearance in the Spring Roots section of Kimberley Hasselbrink's new cookbook, Vibrant Food. After a stint in a hot pan with butter, their peppery bite is slightly mellowed, but the remaining juicy crunch, vivid color, and distinctive pungency offsets the simple, creamy risotto.
Inspired by Thai grilled beef salad (neua nam tok), this salad replaces the meat with grilled vegetables and adds fragrant jasmine rice. It's loaded with fresh herbs and dressed with a bracing, fish sauce-spiked lime vinaigrette. Plus, because the vegetables are grilled, they give the salad a deeper, smoky flavor.
The classic side dish of rice and beans gets a summery facelift in this bold, chilled salad, packed with tomatoes, sharp cheddar, onions, cilantro, and an in-your-face vinaigrette made with both banana peppers and ancho chilies.
Light and delicious, this wakame-filled bowl of brown rice is topped with creamy avocado, crunchy sprouts, and tender shrimp for an easy one-pot meal. Finished with fresh lime juice and soy sauce, it makes for a fun and flavorful weeknight meal.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets a jolt from dark-roast coffee beans and spicy cinnamon sticks.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets a southeast Asian-style lift from bright lemongrass and ginger.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets an infusion of fresh strawberries for a fruity, pastel-hued beverage.
Ropa vieja, the classic Cuban dish of shredded stewed beef flavored with a vinegary tomato and pepper sauce, is a natural choice for the slow cooker, stewed all day and served with rice and beans.
Why I don't cook everything in coconut milk is beyond me. It adds a rich flavor, creamy texture, and a sweetness that is perfectly at home in savory dishes. This particular one-pot recipe, made with tender chicken thighs, fresh, crunchy snow peas, and lightly spiced rice cooked in coconut milk is not from any particular tradition, but it sure is a tasty way to make a quick, weeknight meal.
Fried rice is one of the great one-bowl meals, though this vegetarian version, packed with tender-crisp bok choy and kale and crispy nubs of fried garlic is so good that you'll probably want to keep it in your repertoire as a side dish as well.
As a lover of quick and easy dishes, pilafs—simple dishes of rice cooked in broth—come up in my repertoire all the time. They're an insanely easy way to produce a flavor-packed meal in a single pan with minimum fuss.This version combines chicken and rice with Greek flavors.