Side dishes are any food served as an accompaniment to the main course. They are used to diversify and complement the flavors and textures of a meal. So, turning simple white rice into a superb side dish is as important as the main dish. They are like the finishing touches that take the meal to another exquisite level.
Accompaniments must balance the main course in texture, color, and flavor providing pleasing contrasts. A good side dish can enhance and highlight any meal. On the contrary, a poor accompaniment will ruin an entire food.
Trying Different Accompaniments
The type of side dish must consider a perfect pairing with all the components of the meals.
When serving meat as the main course, colorful side dishes are a great way to add color to the dish. For hearty dishes, lighter sides are the best choice. With lighter main courses, accompaniment must be richer and more filling.
There are plenty of tasty side dish recipes. The most typical preparations include:
- Potatoes: French fries, potatoes au gratin, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and mashed potatoes,
- Rice: white rice, brown rice, lime rice, Mexican rice, and Spanish rice.
- Pasta: creamy Parmesan pasta, garlic shells, Mac and cheese, carbonara pasta, and spring pasta.
- Salads: roasted vegetables, broccoli salad, tossed green salad, cucumber salad, and wedge salad.
- Brussels sprouts: Parmesan Brussels sprouts, glazed Brussels sprouts, Brussels sprouts roasted, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, and Brussels sprouts with cranberries or raisins.
- Green beans: Fried green beans, green garlic beans, green beans mushroom casserole, green beans with tomatoes, and fresh green beans with peppers.
- Butternut squash: spicy butternut squash, cheesy bacon butternut squash, butternut squash risotto, stuffed butternut squash, and butternut squash curry.
Rice: A Versatile Accompaniment
Of all these typical side dishes, rice is the ingredient that frequently steals the show. Any rice dish helps to create a bright spot on the main course. This grain is versatile, with a blank flavor and adaptable texture.
Simple white rice accompanies copious main dishes with intense flavors. The plain rice balances the strong flavors and gives a satiating feeling.
Rice preparations are more varied for lighter main courses like fish, chicken, or turkey. They must include flavorsome ingredients providing contrasts in color and texture.
Some ideas for tasteful rice side dishes are:
- Quick Spanish rice: Intense-flavored rice with saffron, onion, and garlic. Check the recipe at successrice.com/recipes/spanish-rice/
- Cilantro Lime Rice: Fragrant white rice tossed with fresh cilantro and lime juice.
- Vegetable Fried Rice: Rice with chopped and sliced carrots, onions, peppers, and broccoli.
- One-pot mushroom rice: Rice with earthy and caramelized mushrooms cooked in chicken broth.
- Rice Pilaf: Toasted rice with butter, onion, garlic, and pepper.
- Mexican Rice: Rice colored with tomato sauce and flavored with cumin, fresh lime, chopped cilantro, and jalapenos.
Cooking An Impressive Rice Side Dish
Now, cook the following recipe to accompany a delightful meal.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2 cups of cooked white rice.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- 1 finely chopped onion.
- 1 cut carrot.
- 2 sliced scallions.
- 2 minced cloves of garlic.
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste.
- 1 beaten egg.
- ½ cup of frozen peas.
- In a saucepan, pour vegetable oil at heat at medium temperature.
- Add rice and sauté until it gets a brown color.
- Incorporate onion, carrot, scallions, and garlic. Stir very well and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and white pepper to taste.
- Place the mixture on the side of the saucepan and incorporate the beaten egg.
- Scramble the egg and cook. Mix the rice, vegetables, and egg.
- Incorporate frozen peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.
Feature Image: Pixabay
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