MOROCCAN RICE - Internationalize Your Side Dish!

(Spice up your side dish with some international flair!)

I love rice but I do get a little tired of plain old white rice no matter what variety.  Lately I've been experimenting with new rice recipes as side dishes for my meals.  In the past few months I've diddled around with Fiesta Rice to go with some Tortilla Encrusted Tilapia, Confetti Rice to go with some Curried Coconut Orange Catfish and a few others. I like adding complementary flavors to rice to go with the main entree.

I also like add-ins like dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and replacing the water with flavored liquids like stocks, coconut milk or water, juices and even a dash of wine or champagne.

When I got some lovely Wild Salmon and some gorgeous, fresh blueberries on my last shopping expedition I immediately went to work on a new dish.  The result was my Baked Salmon with Blueberry Salsa and I quickly whipped up the rice below to go with it!

(Pssst - I'll be posting the Blueberry Salsa recipe tomorrow and the Baked Salmon recipe on Friday, so come back for the whole entree!)
1-1/2 Cups of Chicken Stock (or Water)
1 Cup of Jasmine Rice
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1/3 C. of Shelled Pistachios
1/3 C. of Diced Red Onions
1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 C. of Raisins
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger

  • Measure out your stock or water and add the spices and the lemon zest, put aside.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium in a saucepan.
  • Add the red onions and sweat for 3 or 4 minutes - you want the onions slightly translucent.
  • Add the pistachios and saute on medium-high until lightly browned.
  • Add your rice and toast for a minute or two.
  • Add your spice-lemon-stock/water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes* (or cook according to directions on package).
  • Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff and serve.
*My rice only took 15 minutes and the package directions said 20 so keep an eye on your rice!
How did I turn this Moroccan Rice into a Tiny Food??  I made Moroccan Rice Balls!!!

I didn't have a recipe so I Googled a few and came across this hilarious and adorable video of Fabio Viviana (@fabioviviani) making rice balls out of overcooked risotto. This wasn't exactly how I did mine since I wasn't using risotto, but I laughed and enjoyed the video so thought you might also.

Here's a basic formula for making Rice Balls (aka Arancini) with leftover rice:
BTW - Arancini translates roughly to "little orange" in Italian and they do look a bit like that!

1 Cup of Rice
1 Egg
Seasonings, Spices & Add-Ins
(My Moroccan Rice already had them!)
Roll about 1 tablespoon of this mixture in your hands into a ball.
Optional - roll the ball into some bread crumbs or Panko.
Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 425 degrees F - time depends on size of balls - until GBD (Golden Brown & Delicious)
Serve with a complementary sauce!
Yes, I did serve martinis with the Moroccan Rice Balls - these just screamed Pina Colada Martinis to me! Enjoy and please share the recipes!

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