In today's installment of Cooking Our Way Through The F1 Calendar, Josh and I make Machboos Rubyan, a deliciously fragrant authentic Bahraini rice and shrimp dish. We also get knackered on bourbon, which I'm fairly certain isn't authentic. Oh well, here's how to do it.
Unlike Malaysia, which was a bit dull, the Bahraini Grand Prix was stellar to watch even if, by the time we get around to cooking and making this meal, we knew the outcome.
Of course, this is a bit of nonsense isn't it? What's stellar about this is we're excited about two guys willing to risk millions of dollars in equipment against their superior's wishes — money that could be used to build a hospital or help find a cure for all manner of diseases. All this against the backdrop of a highly repressive regime that hosts the race as a PR activity designed to distract the world from what they're really up to.
Not to mention, I have this crazy theory they moved the race to the middle of the night so that you couldn't see the burning tires in the background from protestors as in years past.
Ultimately, the most absurd part of this is that I can't stop myself from watching it and enjoying it. Damn you Bernie Ecclestone, you must really be the devil.
Whatever the issue in Bahrain I hope they work it out eventually because I'd like to go there (I have a feeling I'm not that welcome) and enjoy some more of their cuisine because this was great. Here's what you'll need to make Machoos Rubyan (note, if you can't do shrimp any other protein will work and there are variations with chicken):
- 2ish pounds shelled and deveined shrimp with tails
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 dried lime or just a regular lime you bake
- 1.5 liters water
- A few tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 onions
- Cardamom if you can find it
- 3 tablespoons of rosewater
- 3 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro or parsley
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cups long grain rice, washed and drained
You should probably grab Cilantro, but the pics from the recipe I got clearly showed parsley. While those are two very different flavors it doesn't really matter as it's just a garnish to add some nice herbaceousness.
The trick to this dish is making a race that's so flavorful it makes you want to slap yo' mama, and that starts with making a broth. Chop up some lemons into quarters.
Then take some garlic and slice it thinly so all that tasty garlic flavor will seep it. Drink a beer, too, because beer is good for you.
You're going to want to clean your shrimp here and take the shells and tails and drop them in a cup and set aside. I got shrimp that was already peeled but still had the tails. Wish I'd have gotten whole shrimp but, what can you do?
Toss all that into your 1.5 liters of water with the quartered white onion (although, I used a spanish onion here because I like spanish onions). Set it to a very light boil and just admire how pretty it looks.
If you're doing this alone, take the moment to peel, core, and dice tomatoes. If you're with a buddy, have your buddy dice those tomatoes.
You should not use a giant cleaver to open a thing of tumeric, but I did anyways because I thought it looked awesome. Toss the tumeric and the bay leaf and the cinnamon sticks. Also toss in your shrimp shells and heads. Reduce to a simmer so most of it doesn't boil off.
Don't get sad, but chop a shit ton of onions. Josh is a great chopper, so I got a beer.
At this point you're going to just want to drink the broth straight because it's so fucking tasty. Resist. Or not. I don't really care.
I have no idea what I'm doing here.
To caramelize onions just toss as many onions as you can fit into your largest sauté pan and as much better as you can use without feeling bad about yourself. We used a lot of butter.
I didn't have a dried lime and I couldn't find any at the store so I thought I'd just bake a lime and see what happened.
Not quite a dried lime, but it's just for flavor anyways. While you're hanging out mince the rest of the garlic.
Here's the part where you're going to want some help. Use something to drain all the golden delicious liquid so you can separate it up from the shrimp shells which, you know, you probably don't want to eat.
I also misread four "cloves" of garlic as four "heads" of garlic so we roasted some garlic. Just take garlic, put it in foil, add olive oil and salt. Wrap that fucker up and throw it in the oven at 425 until it's delicious (about 30 minutes).
So many tomatoes.
I didn't get any pics of this somehow, but you're going to want to sauté those few cloves you have left in large pot (the one used for the broth works) with either freshly chopped cardamom or the powdered kind if you can't find any fresh.
Ok, now we've got the tomatoes and we're going to add them to the garlic/cardamom mix.
We also couldn't find rosewater and used this weird elderberry and rosewater lemonade. It actually worked.
Toss in the limes when the tomatoes start boiling and add your two cups of rice and as many onions as will fit in this pot.
Poor the tasty broth you've made over all of it so it covers up the rice, plus a little extra. Put the lid on the pot and reduce to a simmer.
Invite a friend over who has bourbon. Start drinking the bourbon. (Thanks Adria!)
Admire your awesomeness.
Get a nice crisp color on the shrimp by tossing them in a pan with some olive oil. If you're squeamish you can cook them all the way through. We stopped a little short and tossed them in the rice to let them steam to a finish. This made the shrimp perfect.
Remember you put garlic in the oven all of a sudden and leisurely take it out (the longer it's in there, the better it is, up to the point that it burns).
Mix everything together once the rice has absorbed all the liquid. This is about 25 minutes, depending on how heavy your boil is.
Take a few spoons of it and put it on a plate. Leave space on either side because it looks good. Cover with flat chopped parsley or cilantro. Add a few caramelized onions, too.
Enjoy it. This makes enough for six normal people or four people slowly getting drunk.
Next race is China, what should we cook?