Friday, 6 February 2015

Tomato pilaf

You might have noticed that I use some of the same ingredients in a lot of my recipes. Tomatoes are one of them. And why not? The press is full of stuff about how great they are, full of antioxidants like lycopene. Basically it's supposed to stop you getting cancer. Better still, tomatoes taste fucking great with pretty much everything.

Mind you, some pseudo-scientific fuckwits claim that all nightshade vegetables, of which tomatoes are one (a group also including peppers, chillies, potatoes and aubergines) are a bad thing to eat for a variety of reasons. These include the claim that they contain a toxic alkaloid, that tinned tomatoes contain a man-made toxin and that they can cause osteoporosis. This is all utter bullshit without any foundation in reality, let alone science, and I'm not giving these hysteria-promoting morons the privilege of a link.

Of course, not all tomatoes are good. It took George Clooney a good few years to get over appearing in this

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp tomato puree
150g fresh tomatoes, peeled
350 ml vegetable stock (made by adding half a vegetable stock cube to 350ml of warm water)
200g rice

Heat the oil in the a heavy-based pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry them until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the rice, stir so that it's coated with the tomato mixture then pour in the stock plus salt and pepper to taste. Heat until it's boiling, turn down the heat and cover for 10 minutes or more, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Serve.

This makes enough for two-three adults.

Tomato pilaf served with pork afelia

No pictures of the preparation for this entry. It's rice that's a sort of reddy-orangey colour, what do you need a frigging picture of?

It doesn't need any fancy rice. I used Thai jasmine rice which is what I use for most things. It needs to be quite a moist dish though.

Peeling tomatoes is a regal pain the arse. What you do is pour boiling water into a heatproof jug then cut a slit in the skin of your tomato before throwing it in the boiling water for 20 seconds or so. This should make the skin pucker and shrivel up so it looks similar in colour and texture to David Dickinson. It then becomes easy to peel off. One or two are OK, but doing a lot of tomatoes takes ages and becomes more difficult as the water cools. You could probably get away with using some tinned tomatoes, but you'd have to add less water.

This is tomato PILAF, not to be confused with Edith PIAF. though if it were about her, I daresay she may have changed her signature torch song to "Non, je ne regrette riz"
(a little linguistic humour there)

This goes really well with something like my pork afelia which I also recently posted