Employee Meal 7.27.10 (and a few general comments)

The other day after rummaging around in the walk-in freezer (geeze o' man the cold felt good) I came upon a plastic container with pieces of cooked lamb medallions from a banquet served some time ago. Being the chef, my job description is not only to cook for the guests but also the employees (who are sometimes more finicky than the paying guests...you know who you are if you're reading this). Often the meal is as simple as sandwiches or chicken wings (hey, this is Buffalo!), but other times--when I have the time--it can be an entire meal...such as this one. And this is also where my forays into the freezer come in handy (what I fondly refer to as my archaeological digs...employee meals also have to be cost effective).

At-any-rate, this recipe is really a variation on the classic Lebanese Chicken-and-Rice. Click here for a recipe for Chicken-and Rice; click here for a recipe and pictures for the same dish but made with brown rice; click here for a recipe for Kibbee-and-Rice (and click here if you need and explanation of what kibbee is). If you'd like to know more about Lebanese cuisine in general, click here to read an article I wrote for Sally's Place.

Anyhow, the dish is easily adaptable to your own liking and taste. It consists of browning raw spaghetti or vermicelli, along with meat, then adding the Holy Trinity of Lebanese flavorings (cinnamon, allspice, and cumin)...I also added a little turmeric simply because I like it and it's extremely good for you, plus a few diced tomatoes in the last few minutes of cooking, and mirepoix because...well, I'm a chef and mirepoix  (click for an explanation) is part of our daily mise en place (click for an explanation).

To sum it up in a sentence, this dish--and many variations of it--is really is a sort of homemade Rice-A-Roni (click here for text regarding Rice-A-Roni)

I also served this dish with Broccoli Aglio e Olio (click here if you need recipes; click here if you need a definition), oranges, and fresh yogurt (click here for recipes and text).

Now here's the recipe in pictures (click any photo for a larger view).


Faith McCausland said…
This looks wonderfully delicious! I try not to eat meat very often--could I substitute beans? Suggestions? Lucky employees...
Joe said…
Hi Faith,

This can be totally vegetarian. The rice and pasta are delicious on their own (use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth). And if you want a meat-like substitute add seitan, tempeh, or tofu. Thanks for reading and commenting.