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Monday, May 24, 2004

The world in 52 bowls of rice: Is My Blog Burning? 4th edition

I am speechless, utterly speechless. I waited until this morning to do a count on Around the world in a bowl of rice entries to make sure I didn't overlook any US West Coast late comers, and the final count is now at 49.(No! It's now 52!!) Well, 49 bowls and 3 cups of rice, to be exact. These entries take us through a fascinating cultural and historical landscape of our world, from dishes rooted in ancient ways of living, to those that exemplify to quilted interconnectedness of our new world. Some of these dishes simply remind us of home, while others take us through a curious journey through the cultures that are foreign to us. I've had such fun putting this list together, now, please join me in this mesmerizing journey around the world in a rice bowl.
Ancient grain, ancient world Jeremy in New York drew from his family's Iraqi heritage to bring us T'beet Rice. A traditional Sabbath lunch of Iraqi Jews, this rice dish is a fusion of the middle-eastern staple of rice and the Jewish religious restriction of not extinguishing a fire on Sabbath, resulting in gorgeously red and delicious rice. My friend Vanessa sent me a recipe for Kitchri, a compromise between Jewish dietary laws forbidding the combination of meat and milk, and the common middle-eastern practice of combining yogurt and/or butter with meat dishes. The resulting dish, which has no meat, is a lavish blend of fantastic dairy products, not only cooked in butter but melted butter was added at the table; yogurt was used as a sauce and as an accompanying drink; and served with fried slices of cheese. From the Carolina Lowcountry, we have not one but two versions of Hoppin' John, a rice and peas dish which came to the American South via the Caribbean islands. The first came from Kate from the Accidental Hedonist, who flavors her version with ham hock. The second one, from Shaun in her Backyard Grub, uses crabmeat instead of the ham hock. Our home is where the rice is Few things make us feel more at home, or melancholy for one, than the food from our childhood. Theresa of Crumbs, made us a Homesick Chicken Rice in Switzerland to remind herself of her home in Singapore. Alberto of Il Forno, an Italian in Germany, and the brain behind the first IMBB? gave us a favorite from his childhood, Arancine al Sugo, stuffed rice balls, covered in bread crumbs and deep fried. Wena in Malaysia again consulted her adorable granny and came up with fried rice with aw kana, which reminded me of a similar dish from my own childhood in Thailand. Claudine, of Memory and Desire from California, made her mom's fried rice, a delicious blend of her Chinese-Filipino heritage. Umami gave us Nasi Ulam (Malay for Herbed Rice), a rice dish that contrasts the freshness of herbs with the pungency and strong flavours of ingredients like belacan (dried fermented shrimp paste), dried salted fish and dried shrimps. Malaysia in a rice bowl. Buzzwood of Onokinegrindz in Hawaii, gave us gomoku takikomi gohan, rice with five ingredients to celebrate his Japanese ancestry. Chez Pim's number one (and only?) faithful reader, Sher, sent me her Shrimp Creole, from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mikiko of I was just really hungry, showed us her Japanese roots in her Spring fried rice with chive blossoms. I made myself feel at home by making a dish of rice with “embarking” relish, Khao Nam-prik Long Ruea, a dish from my childhood in Bangok. This spicy and pungent dish is served with crispy fish, caramelized pork, salted duck eggs and vegetables. Ninds, of Marmaladechainsaw, invited us to her homey breakfast of Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian classic. The world in a bowl of rice These rice dishes exemplify the blending of many cultural roots and ethnic origins, and our fascination with exotic cuisines, our world in a simple bowl of rice. Rene of shiokadelicious in Singapore sent her Nasi Briyani, a dish that was Indian by birth, but has been warmly welcomed and adopted by South East Asians. An integral part of the Singaporean and Malaysian epicurean landscape, it is popular amongst not only the local Indians but also the Chinese and Malays as well. From Maryland, Lynda at Table Scraps, Chicken Curry with Saffron Rice, an Indian recipe she found on the internet. Our world, au courant, in a bowl. Marsha of Hot Water Bath made us her Global Chicken and Rice, a tribute to her mixed heritage and her ancestors who hailed from all over the globe. Carlo “The Flying Italian” of La Cena sent his insalata di riso, a simple rice salad, comprising ingredients from all over the world, greek cheese, italian olives, english pickled onions, thai sweet basil, spanish tinned tuna, sicilian capers plus boiled eggs, fresh peppers, fresh courgettes, more cheese and so on (and on and on). From Zurich, Roger of Itadakimasu, gave us Rice, Salmon Teriyaki, Eggplant with Red Miso, showing us his fascination with all things Japanese, in a rice set dish. He also provided an instruction on how to cook rice without a rice cooker, something of which I am entirely incapable. Another one with a Japanese slant, Redbeard at Life in Flow left us some sushi. Frankly I'm not entirely sure what to make of sushi from a Marine Biologist. How about you? My friend Isabelle in Paris (I'm jealous just saying that, Isabelle in Paris, aren't you?), sent her version of Sofyani Biryani, based on recipes from a cookbook she brought back from her enchanting trip to India. Matt of Kerner.net sent Paella, he actually called his friend's mom all the way over in Spain, and at terribly late hour, for advice on this recipe. Meg, who is over in Paris, apparently also a fan of Paella, contributed her own Chinese French Paella. Mipmup made us some chicken and rice and hot salsa. Elise of Elise's Simply Recipes brought us a curry and rice salad, her very own ingenious way of using up leftover rice from her fancy Japanese rice cooker. Risotti of our hearts Originally from Italy, Risotto is one of the most popular rice dishes in the world. It also proved quite popular with our food bloggers. Matt of Bourrez votre visage sent Wild King Salmon with Red Beet Horseradish Risotto & Asparagus with morels. Pascale of C'est moi qui l'ai fait in Paris sent us her family's favorite Prawns and Peas Risotto. What a gorgeous picture! A California Risotto, by Derrick, a Californian rendition of Risotto Barolo, a Piedmont classic. Irene of Cuisine Capers, reached into her Sicilian heritage to bring us Risotto ala Caprese. This IMBB edition has inspired a birth of at least one food blog, Cook Sister, by Jeanne, a South African woman living in London. She made us South African Boerewors and Butternut Risotto. Janet in Chicago gave us her Shrimp with Vegetable Risotto. Elke from Elkit in Wonderland, a German living in California brought us Spring by giving us her risotto con piselli e limon (Risotto with Peas and Lemon) And to dispel the myth that risotto is difficult to make, Christine at Delish, all the way in New Zealand, sent her Cheater's Easy Risotto. Also, Owen of Tomatilla, who, even during his not so good times, kept up his spirit and joined in the fun by making us his Asparagus Lemon Risotto. Here he showed us that fusion is far more than about ingredients, as his version is a blend two cultures, food from italy and an common Asian cooking implement. Rice, by any other name will taste as sweet To compliment our savory course, these recipes show us how sweet our simple rice could be. Clotilde gave us her enticing Riz au Lait à la Framboise, a grandmotherly dessert that looked anything but granmother-like. Petra, who normally blogs in German (and Germany) did her Creamy Rice Terrine with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote blog in English especially for us. Donna from There's a Chef in My Kitchen sent us a lovely Amaretto Risotto Torte, a classic Bolognese dessert, adapted to fit her kitchen in central Pennsylvania. Chocolate Rice Pudding, by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. The recipe was from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, inspired by Alberto's blog on Hermé's book that was, in turn, inspired by my blog on my recent visit there. Isn't it such a small world we live in? From the UK, Jackie at the Daily Bread, sent Rice Pudding for babies, but I'm sure adults would like it too. Deb, of In My Kitchen, sent Empanadas de Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding Turnovers), a nice little twist in the rice pudding theme. We have three coconut rice pudding recipe. The first one from Amy, of Cooking with Amy in San Francisco, who is away on vacation but was nice enough to leave us her recipe. The second one, from Seattle, The Prim Optimist Seattle Bon Vivant gave her own rendition of this classic. And, last but not least, Bill, aka Redfusion, from Live Journal also made usone, inspired by Amy's post. Mia of Nosh, sent a very simple but gorgeous looking Rice-stuffed Apples. Adam, of the Amateur Gourmet fame, sent me rolling on the floor laughing with his hilarious Condoleezza Rice Pudding with Berries of Mass Destruction. And my Coup de Cœur is Robyn's loving tribute to his mom. Constraint by her limited resource, his single mother came up with an ingenious rice dish to give her children a little treat. Her Glorified Rice is perhaps the simplest and most humble recipe in our bunch, but it is, at the same time, far more glorious than any rice dish I have seen from any famous chef. And just a little fashionably late is Creen of On My Plate from sunny Hawaii, who showed us a little sweet taste of her home in the Phillipines in the form of Suman, a sweet little banana leaf packet of delectable sticky rice. Drink your rice Two recipes remind us that rice is not just for eating. Barrett, a pesco-ovo-lacto-vegetarian from Chicago, and one chef too many at Too Many Chefs, implored us to drink our rice with his version of Horchata de arroz (Horchata from Rice) Not to be outdone, Josh of The Food Section in NY also brought us his very own rendition of classic Horchata. And, I don't know how I missed this, but Jen, who insists that life begins at 30, also sends her own version. Thus concluded our fascinating tour around the world in 50 bowls of rice. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you so much to everyone for participating and sharing a bit of your life with us. See you at the next Is My Blog Burning?.

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