Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bulging Brown Basmati Broccoli (with shrimp)

My ideal dinner normally consist of more than one dish that in turn makes up the complete meal. I am a girl for options. I like to know that I have more than one thing to eat so that when one item is gone I have another just waiting for me on the other side of the plate. With that said I would normally pair a casserole with a salad, or a side of fruit. But my above dish did not need anything to satisfy as a meal.
When I originally had this recipe it was a side dish at our friend Molly's house. It was so good and have great flavor and texture. She had mentioned to me, as we cooked, that her fiance and her also like to make this dish a meal by adding a meat or extra veggies...which is precisely what I decided to do.

Before we left Molly's I had made sure to jot down the instructions for the delicious Herbed Basmati Rice. I will start off first with what I altered (not much!). I had to use dried thyme and dried basil, because that is what I had on hand and I also did not buy the fresh parm. I must say, however, that we did have the fresh cheese at Molly's and it's worth the extra money if you have it. I knew that I was going to be doctoring up the recipe with other ingredients, so I didn't splurge for the cheese. As mentioned in the title of this post I also used brown basmati, as opposed to just the reg. white. The rice did take longer than fifteen mins. to absorb all the liquid but I just monitored the pan and saw when the liquid was almost gone. At that point I added the remaining ingredients (as instructed) and also threw in a bag of steamed broccoli and pre-cooked shrimp. The dish looked colorful and tasty!

A couple things about the dish that I think is important to mention: One, the rice tends to be al dente which I throughly enjoy but I know some would not. Erin is not a huge fan of al dente dishes, she has to test the pasta whenever we cook that, and the rice texture did not seem to bother her. Also the thyme and basil are quite strong in the dish and if you aren't a huge fan of one or the other I would leave it out!

I think the possiblities for this dish are endless. You could add a variety of meats, vegetables, beans or just leave as a side dish.

Erin gave it an 8.4 I believe, and you know what they say...eight is great!