It’s Mother’s Day weekend so cheers to us mothers! My mother’s day treat started since Thursday last week. I was asking my son, who was (and still is) very busy with school work if he could “spare” me some time of his to spend a special afternoon tea with me on Mother’s Day. He said, “Hmm…let me see Mama if I could but your Mother’s Day starts now coz I am giving you extra hugs from today until Sunday.” You see, my son and I are huggers. We are both affectionate and expressive of our feelings. He is a teen-ager now and you hear about teen-agers, especially boys slowly “detaching” themselves from their mothers when they get to this age but not my unico hijo…not yet anyway. There was not a single day when he has not hugged or kissed me. So, extra hugs? Lovely!
Truth be known, my idea of how to celebrate Mother’s Day is for me to be able to do and enjoy the things I love. I had fun watching the final dress rehearsal of the stage play An Officer and a Gentleman yesterday. One of the things I enjoy doing – watching stage plays so yesterday was a real treat. I did not have breakfast in bed this morning but was happy to sleep in a bit and woke up with a box of chocolates from the boys. So, I had chocolate for breakfast! 😀
My son told me he really needed to do some school work, which I totally understand and really I shouldn’t be complaining about having a studious son. So, it was sort of planned to spend the afternoon with the hubby instead but I opted to not go anyway and started planning dinner and baking the oreo cookie cake. I have received messages today telling me to make sure I get pampered today and not lift a finger but I guess my love of cooking for the boys was sort of treat for myself in a way. It actually makes me feel good doing that even on Mother’s Day, supposedly my day of rest.
As I have mentioned, I made the Oreo Cookie Cake again as a sweet treat and for dinner, this tasty Saffron Prawn Pilaf.Pilaf, which originated from Persia, is a class of rice dishes most commonly referring to rice cooked in a seasoned broth with meat or vegetables. The dish has come a long way with so many variations and recipes now. I remember the first time I tried it was during a friend’s birthday. It was a Nepalese dinner and her aunt cooked this wonderful almond rice pilaf and that set the standard for my rice pilaf liking. Now I will not compare this saffron-based rice pilaf I made with her aunt’s rice pilaf because they are two different dishes as far as ingredients are concerned. That is my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it! 😀Ingredients
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups (625ml) chicken stock
- Pinch of saffron
- Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
- 1 tbs raisins ( or currants if you prefer)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-3 dry bay leaves
- 500g fresh tiger prawns, peeled with tails and heads intact
- dash of cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 4 minutes over a moderate heat. Add the stock, saffron, bay leaves, cinnamon quill, lemon juice and rind and bring to the boil.
2. Add the rice and stir over the heat until it returns to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Stir through the asparagus and raisins. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
I left the heads intact because all the good flavours are in there and I wanted to get all the juices from them while sautéing the prawns.
5. Serve the pilaf topped with the prawns. You can remove the heads and tails or keep them intact if desired.If you are confident using a rice cooker, you can use one to make the rice pilaf dish. I have tried cooking spice-infused rice in it before and it worked well. Rice pilaf recipe adapted from Taste.com.au