News & Politics

Black Indian Rice Cakes With Spiced Pecans, Spring Onions and Pickled Okra

Todd Gray, Equinox

Serves Four
1 1/2 cups long-grain black rice
1 onion, peeled and minced
1 leek, cut into 1/3-inch slices
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups spiced pecans, chopped (recipe follows)
1/3 cup spring onions, sliced
2 eggs
1/2 cup clarified butter or olive oil
1 cup whole pickled okra (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauce pot, combine the rice, onion, leek, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked and fluffy. Remove from the stove and stir in the spiced pecans and spring onions. Season with salt and pepper. When the rice is cool, add the eggs and mix well. Form the mixture into eight cakes, approximately 1/2 cup each. In a medium sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat. Carefully sauté the rice cakes until golden brown on both sides. Garnish with pickled okra (recipe below). Serve immediately.
Pickled Okra
Makes 1 pound
1 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 teaspoons pickling spice
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound okra, blanched
In a medium sauce pot, bring the water to a boil. Tie the minced garlic and pickling spice into a cheesecloth sachet. When water is boiling, remove the pot from the stove and add the vinegar, salt, sugar, and sachet. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved and let cool for ten minutes (at room temperature). Place the blanched okra into a large plastic container and cover with the pickling liquid. Let the mixture completely cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for 24 hours.
Spiced Pecans 
Yields one pound
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 pound pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients except the pecans. Toss the pecans with spice mixture and spread onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake the pecans, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes or until toasted. Remove from the oven and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.