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Indonesian-Style Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng)

 

Nasi goreng is Indonesia’s national dish. At its simplest, it is cold leftover rice, seasoned with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) and whatever leftovers and spices the cook has on hand. Often it is topped with a fried egg and served for breakfast. Of course, it can be much more elaborate, depending on the circumstances under which it will be served. My version leans toward simplicity, making it a quick and easy weekday meal.

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Paella

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My paella is not traditionally Spanish. It is more like a Portuguese dish in the sense that it combines seafood and meat. But I’ve been making it for years and it is a family favorite—one that, I might add, I often serve to guests. Served with crusty bread, a simple green salad and some good white wine, it makes a perfect Friday night dinner with friends.

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Creole Chicken With Red Rice

13Creole Chicken with Red Rice I love the lively Cajun flavors of this dish. Served on a deep platter, surrounded by colorful rice and sprinkled with flecks of toasted sliced almonds, preferably with bits of skin for the visual effect, it’s pretty enough to serve to guests. 

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Red Beans and Red Rice (page 178)

Red Beans and Red Rice

 

Red Beans and Red Rice (page 178)

 

Here’s a fresh twist on the classic Southern dish of red beans and rice. Bulked up with muscular red rice, this is very hearty — with the addition of salad, it’s a meal in itself. The green peas add a burst of color, making this a visually attractive dish that looks good on a buffet. It is particularly tasty as an accompaniment to roast chicken or pork, or pork chops or a platter of roasted vegetables.

 

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Roasted Red PepperRisotto (page 174)

Roasted Red Pepper Risotto

 

This is a great way to dress up a simple dinner or to handle unexpected guests. Pick up a rotisserie chicken or two or a vegetable stir-fry, and a precooked vegetable, such as asparagus vinaigrette. Make this risotto, open a bottle of wine and everyone will think you’re amazing.

 

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Sausage-Spiked Peas ’n’ Rice(page 144)

Sausage- Spiked Peas ‘n’ Rice

Sausage-Spiked Peas ’n’ Rice(page 144)

What could be easier than this combination of brown and wild rice and split peas, seasoned with sausage and fennel? The flavors are fantastic and I love the way the split peas dissolve into the sauce, creating a luscious texture that I find extremely satisfying. Add a simple green salad or some steamed green beans and enjoy.

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