Fragrant Rice ‘Stuffing’ – Yemisi

This is a traditional recipe from the island of Kos, where it is used to stuff the Easter lamb, which is then roasted. If you don’t have a whole lamb to hand (!) it makes a great side-dish to any roast meat. If the lambs liver is substituted for chicken livers, it’s also a lovely stuffing for roast duck or goose. 

Fragrant Rice ‘Stuffing’ – Yémisi

1 small onion, finely diced

2 tabs olive oil

300 gm ‘Easy Cook’ rice

180 gm lamb or chicken liver, chopped into small pieces (Optional if you’re not a fan of liver.)

50 gm pine nuts

900 ml water

1 tab dried mint (fresh doesn’t seem to work here). Feel free to add more, the quantity depends on the quality.

1 tab ground cinnamon – feel free to add more, the quantity depends on the quality.

Salt and pepper to taste – I would suggest 2 teaspoons of salt.

Put the oil into a large frying or sautée pan or wok and heat it up.

Add the chopped onion and fry gently util soft.

If you are using the diced liver, add it now, and sautée until its almost cooked through .

Now add the rice and mix it in well with the onions and liver (if used). Be careful not to completely fry the rice   … you don’t want savoury ‘Rice Crispies’!!

Next add the pine nuts and mix in well.

Now you need to add the water a bit at a time – a bit like making risotto. So add about 100ml of water each time. Only add more when the previous amount has been absorbed. Stir the rice mix very frequently so it doesn’t burm

The rice will slowly begin to cook through. When it’s about halfway cooked start to add the seasonings – salt and pepper to taste – and the cinnamon and dried mint. This is purely on personal taste and also depends on the quality of the flavourings. You don’t want to be over-powered by either, but the rice should be very fragrant.

Keep adding water – you may need a bit more – until the rice is just on the verge of being cooked. It needs to have just a bit of ‘bit’ but mustn’t be too soft.

If you are using it as stuffing, allow it to cool completely before using.

If you are cooking it as a side-dish, transfer it all to an ovenproof dish, add half a cup of water and cover well with foil. If you have any spare pan juices from your roast, you can mix a spoonful or two into the rice mix before baking.

Bake at about 175-180 degrees for about 35-40  minutes.