I am a self professed book hoarder. Given my situation and the state of the world I’ve been able to cut back on a lot of stuff, like using half the electricity, gas and water, and only having to take out the trash once every 2 weeks, largely due to the smell, but not because my trash can is full. But the one thing I cannot seem to cut back on is books. This is all books, but books in relation to the Dutch East Indies and cookbooks in particular.
On The Side
I didn’t know why at the time, but I had to have it. It has since become the most heavily bookmarked cookbook I ever got. I don’t know why more people aren’t writing cookbooks about side dishes, but On The Side is a genius list of simple, mostly vegetable based side dishes. Including explanations on what to have them with, or how to combine them to make a full meal.
I’m in love with this book and I basically cannot stop cooking from it. There’s never an occasion where you don’t need a side now, is there?
The first recipe I cooked, and cooked again and again and again, from On The Side, is this 3 peppercorn wild rice dish. Sometimes I’ll make it with plain brown rice. Sometimes I’ll use the leftovers in a salad with some beans, chicken and cilantro, sometimes I’ll have it for lunch with some fried eggs and my hot-tingle mapo hot sauce, sometimes I’ll switch the eggs out for crispy oven-baked tofu puffs. Basically, it works with everything. As long as you like it hot.
I did switch out the lemon for lime and one of the peppercorns for Indonesian andaliman pepper, since that’s what I had laying around, but you can basically pick and mix from your own cupboard.
Peppercorn and lime rice
- 1 c wild rice most will come with a plain rice mixed in, this is fine
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tsp andaliman peppercorns
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker, according to your manufacturer's instructions
- Alternatively cook the rice in a heavy bottomed saucepan with ample water by bringing it to the boil and then leaving it to simmer for 3 minutes less than the packet instructions prescribe. Strain the rice and place it back in the saucepan, lid on, and leave to sit for another 3 minutes for perfectly fluffy rice.
- While your rice is cooking, grind together the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and squeeze out our lime juice.
- Once the rice is cooked, fluff it up with a fork and stir in the peppercorn mixture, lime juice and salt to taste.