“A BANDA” RICE WITH PIMIENTO STUFFED OLIVES BY RODRIGO VELAZCO
- 1 lb Pimento-stuffed Olives
- 2 lbs White rice
- 2 tsp Saffron
- 1 liter Clam juice
- 1 lb Piquillo pepper
- 1 cup Yellow onions
- 1 bunch Curly parsley
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Dice onions and peppers. Toss with a splash of EVOO and cook at low heat using a paella-style pan. To cook the rice you will need to use this kind of pan, as it offers a wide bottom surface allowing ingredients to spread across the bottom where the heat is.
Once onions are translucent, add in all the rice and lower the heat. Stir constantly while rice toasts.
Place saffron in a cup of warm water to allow it to activate and render all its flavor.
Once rice is toasted add in clam juice and bring to a boil. Season with salt and lower heat to a low simmer. At this stage you can also add in the saffron and the warm water. You will observe how the clam juice evaporates as the rice cooks.
Once the liquid is reduced to a thin layer in the bottom of the pan, turn heat to low.
Slice stuffed olives and toss them in a mixing bowl with a tablespoon of chopped parsley, lemon juice and EVOO. Stuffed olives are what most of us are familiar with, they are sweat and briny with a very unique acidity to them. I picked them to make this dish more approachable and tasty, as it’s usually served as a side dish or topped with different pieces of cooked seafood.
Once the liquid has been cooked off and rice is tender, check for seasoning and place sliced olive mix across the top of the rice, allowing flavors to mix.
CHEF RODRIGO VELAZCO
Chef Rodrigo Velazco was born in Caracas (Venezuela), with an unparalleled culinary background, chef Velazco merges his South Americans roots with a deep passion for local ingredients.
Before moving to Charlotte, chef Velazco acquired extensive experience working in Miami with Chef Phil Bryant, nominated for the James Bear award. In addition, he was sous chef of the contestant of "Top Chef" Jeff McInnis. Already in Charlotte, he worked at Vivace restaurant, where he was the executive chef. It was there when he began to truly submerge in the gastronomic scene of the city. Currently, he is the cuisine chef of Evoke restaurant.
With 7 awards in its first year of opening, including Best Steakhouse, Best New Restaurant and named one of the 10 best restaurants by Charlotte magazine, Evoke is proud of their creative kitchen in a unique and modern environment.