Peter Max's Rice with Chinese Vegetables
1 cup hand polished (or long-grain) rice, washed in cold water
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter
1. Add rice to salted water in deep saucepan. When water begins to boil, add butter. Stir once. Cook 15 minutes (or until rice is tender). Remove from heat. Drain in colander. Serve at once. Makes two 1 1/2 cup servings.
Thoughts: Natural brown rice may be used. Rinse rice very well (three times) in cold water. Use 1 cup rice plus two and one-half times as much water. Add rice to salted water. Bring to boil. Cover, simmer very slowly 40-45 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Let stand 5-10 minutes to allow rice to "steam." Makes two generous servings.
*** I follow Martha Stewart's rice-cooking chart. Read Rice 101 article by clicking here. Download rice-cooking chart by clicking here. ***
To prepare the vegetables:
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
2-3 tbsps. corn (or vegetable) oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped (or 2 scallions, cut in 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2-inch piece ginger root, minced (or 1/8 tsp. ground ginger)
6 white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 stalks celery, cut in thin slices diagonally
4 water chestnuts (canned), thinly sliced
1 cup bamboo shoots, chopped in large pieces (or Chinese celery cabbage or bean sprouts)
1/2 green pepper, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
12 Chinese snow pea pods, sliced in 2-inch pieces (or 1 cup frozen petits pois)
1 vegetable cube dissolved in 3 tbsps. hot water
1 1/2 tsps. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsps. water
Good pinch of sugar
2-3 tbsps. soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute almonds in heated corn (or vegetable) oil in large skillet (or wok). Lift out. Add onion (or scallions), ginger root (or ground ginger); stir-fry 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Add remaining vegetables (except green pepper and pea pods). Stir-fry one minute. Add green pepper, pea pods (or petits pois), vegetable-flavored hot water, cornstarch mixture, sugar, soy sauce., salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook over low heat about 4-5 minutes (or until sauce is smooth and shiny). Stir occasionally. Serve at once on hot cooked white (or natural
brown) rice. Garnish with almonds. Serves 2-3.
Thoughts: Peter's "chop suey" vegetarian delight is a boon to dieters, especially those on the rice-diet. Vegetarians can strengthen the protein intake with the addition of two bean curds. Cut each curd into six pieces before adding when liquid is added towards end of preparation. (Substitute for mushrooms for a "meaty" flavor).
Change vegetables by substituting cabbage, lettuce, watercress, asparagus, spinach, or for convenience, canned mixed Chinese vegetables (contains bean sprouts, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pimento and water chestnuts). For sweet-and-sour nuances, sweeten with strained honey, fresh sweet fruits (orange,
pineapple or kumquat) or "sour" with fruit-flavored vinegar or a twist of lemon. Garnish with condiments tableside (hot Chinese mustard, soy sauce and-or duck sauce). Non-vegetarians may add tiny bits of raw shrimp, lobster, beef, pork or chicken to the skillet during initial stage of preparation.