Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guyanese Style Cook-up Rice



This recipe is a repost from earlier last year.  I decided to update this post with more detailed pictures since its a really popular dish. The amazing thing about one pot dishes is that you can throw in anything you want and it will all come together to a beautiful and unique taste. Rice dishes do just that. In the Caribbean there are many different names for this dish. In Guyana, we call it cook-up rice. Its typically made on Sundays or when there are plenty of mouths to feed!  It is a hearty and rustic type of rice dish.  The texture of this rice is wet and very moist.  People usually include beef, pork, or chicken in it, but other people, such as my aunty Mala, liked to top it with a piece of fried fish. 


I must tell you, there is no one recipe for cook-up rice.  It is a highly customizable dish in terms of what type of beans and meat you can include.  I prefer mine with pigeon peas, but it is also popular with black-eyed peas.  Since I don't eat beef or pork, I have made mine with nice brown pieces of chicken breasts. Here is the recipe, don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients, it's a quick process once you get it all into the pot.

Bring 10 cups water to a boil and in the meantime, dice onions, garlic, and green pepper, you can add scallions here too

I love using fresh herbs... remove from stems...

give them a coarse chop

add two peppers, you can use 1/2 scotch bonnet as well

add 2 bay leaves and be sure to remove them later 

you will need 1-2 small bouillon cubes depending on how salty you like your food,
 start with  one and add more later. I ended up using two.

throw everything in the pot and let it all "cook-up" together

add 2 cups coconut milk

add to pot

add 2 tbsp casareep, this will give the cook-up rice a nice brown color



you can add any type of beans you like,  but I love cook-up with pigeon peas 


Using parboiled rice is a great option here, parboiled rice is stiff and can hold up to the 
heavy ingredients in this dish, white rice or any other short grain rice will make this cook-up become soggy.

Add rice to the pot along with black pepper and old bay seasoning.  You can add any other dry seasonings you like here.  


Cook the chicken 

I used 2 large chicken breasts




rice is almost done, did you notice how most of the water has evaporated?

wait till you have it then next day,even better! 


Guyanese Style Cook-up Rice 
Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients
  • 10 cups water (if you like it less watery, add 8 cups water instead)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2-3 scallions chopped (I didn't have any on hand which is why you do not see it pictured above)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cut green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 sprig of oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme, removed from stem
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 2 wiri wiri pepper or 1/2 scotch bonnet
  • 1-2 small bouillon cubes 
  • 2 cups coconut milk 
  • 2 tbsp casareep
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach (optional)
  • 1 15.5oz canned beans of your choice or *dry beans 
  • 2 1/2 cups parboiled rice (any other type of rice will be too soft to hold up to the heavy ingredients in this dish)
  • 2-3 pounds of your choice of meat 
Chicken:
  • 2-3lbs chicken (or any type of meat you prefer)
  • season meat to your tastes, but here is an idea of how I seasoned my chicken
    • 2 tbsp of onion and garlic puree
    • 1 tsp casareep
    • cayenne pepper
    • black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp oil

Directions
If you are using dried beans:
  1. In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add dried beans to boiling water.
  2. In the meantime, dice onions, garlic, scallions, and green pepper add to the boiling water. Add in wiri wiri pepper, fresh herbs, bay leaves, and bouillon cubes.
  3. When beans are slightly soft, add coconut milk, casareep, and spinach (if you are using spinach).  Let this mixture boil for 15 minutes. 
  4. Place rice in a mixing bowl and run the tap water over it on low, until the water goes clear (this method is how we wash rice in the West Indies).  Drain water from rice and add to the pot.
  5. Add old bay seasoning and black pepper.  Let rice boil until the rice is cooked, you can take one out to feel if it is soft or not.  When the cook-up is close to being done, you will see that it is wet and soupy looking, there will hardly be any liquid left in the pot.  Now at this point, add your cooked meat and give it a good stir. 
  6. Remove from heat and cool.  This will taste the best on the next day, trust me! 


If you are using canned beans:

  1. In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. 
  2. In the meantime, dice onions, garlic, scallions, and green pepper add to the boiling water. Add in wiri wiri pepper, fresh herbs, bay leaves, and bouillon cubes.  Let ingredients cook for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add in coconut milk and casareep and spinach (if you are using spinach). Let mixture boil for 7-8 minutes. 
  4. Place rice in a mixing bowl and run the tap water over it on low, until the water goes clear (this method is how we wash rice in the West Indies).  Drain water from rice and add to the pot.
  5. Drain and rinse beans and add to the pot. Add old bay seasoning and black pepper.  Let rice boil until the rice is cooked, you can take one out to feel if it is soft or not.  
  6. When the cook-up is close to being done, you will see that it is wet and soupy looking, there will hardly be any liquid left in the pot.  Now at this point, add your cooked meat and give it a good stir.
  7. Remove from heat and cool.  This will taste the best on the next day, trust me! 

12 comments:

  1. My mom makes this so well. I wish I could do it like her. It looks so delicious on your page.. I want to make it come out the computer and onto my desk

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  2. I just had to say this about the cook up rice SLAMMING. I'm drooling. This is not the best site for a pregnant woman to be on! lol

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  3. The herbs you have used in this recipe proves to be an interesting twist to traditional cook up rice. I must try it your way. Nice job.

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  4. Hey! I cooked this on Friday 29 July 2011 for the first time! the flavors were amazing! However, instead of boiling da water first, I fried da chicken first then added the seasonings, then added the coconut milk and water! I also found that using 12cups of water for 2 1/2 cups of rice is way to much... Unless u add da rice later... Hummm not sure! But I'm grateful for the recipie! :-)

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  5. Hi Nikki! Glad that you liked the flavors!

    The method you have used is the one used when making pelau/pilaf where enough water is added to cover the rice just about 2inches up the pot. This will result in a looser rice. Boiling the water first then adding the ingredients results in a more sticky, mushy type texture because of the amount of water added. Either way it sounds like you enjoyed it! Thanks for visiting!

    Alica

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  6. I am American and I appreciate Guyanese food.

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  7. I can't find Parboiled Rice where I live. Would Long Grain Rice (Tolly Boy Brand) do?

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    Replies
    1. Hi D Jay,

      Is it like basmati rice? If so, it might be too fine a grain to use for cookup, it will turn soggy. Can you get your hands on enriched long grain? Feel free to send me photos at innergourmet@gmail.com.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Alica it's pixxy Kay, hey what type Of Cassreep do you use? I got some and it was horrible.. a waste!

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