The last of the balila combines with leftovers you might have on hand: tender meat from long-braised lamb shanks, cooked Yukon Gold potatoes. Azoury likes to use frozen Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes) and Misko brand dried vermicelli, both of which are available at Middle Eastern markets. The edamame is a recent tweak to the recipe.
Servings: 2 - 4
- For the vermicelli rice
- Canola oil
- 2 small (2 ounces) nests dried vermicelli, crushed
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup medium-grain rice
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened (optional)
- For the stew
- 2 cups balila (see related recipe)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- Cooked and boned lamb, shanks-only (optional)
- 1/2 cup cooked and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup cubed, frozen Jerusalem artichokes
- 1/2 cup shelled frozen edamame
For the vermicelli rice: Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet and heat over low heat. Add the crushed vermicelli and stir to coat evenly. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the water and salt, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then add the rice. Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in softened butter, if using.
While the vermicelli rice is cooking, make the stew: Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges and the frozen vegetables are heated through.
To serve, divide the vermicelli rice among bowls and ladle the stew on top. Serve hot.
Adapted from Reem Azoury, co-owner and chef of Figs, a cafe in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest Washington.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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