Today I have something a little different to post. My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosiac just had her first cookbook released: An Edible Mosiac: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I'm excited to be participating in her virtual book launch party and sharing a recipe from the book! Thanks to Faith for asking me to participate - one of the best things about food blogging is the great community.
The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. Faith has a pretty unique story....after getting married she spent six months living in the Middle East, where she fell in love with the culture and cuisine. Subsequently, she returned four more times for visits, each time delving deeper into the cuisine and deepening her passion for and appreciation of the region. Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar), but streamlined just a bit for the way we cook today, with unique ingredients demystified and cooking techniques anyone can follow. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
After you check out the recipe below, please head over to Faith's blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. As part of her book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes! Be sure to head over and enter!
The recipe from the book that I'm sharing is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts. This recipe was simple and flavorful. I served it with my Moroccan Stewed Beef with Prunes and Apricots and they paired perfectly together.
Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosiac: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission
1-1/2 cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1-3/4 cups (425 ml) boiling water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric)
1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottom lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let sit (covered) for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.
Optional: Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice (I skipped this because of all the spices in my stew).
Congratulations, Faith! I wish you lots of luck and success with your cookbook! Don't forget to head over to Faith's blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating and enter her giveaway!