This project uses rice as the bottom and top crusts, but in differing fashions. The bottom crust is brown rice infused with herbs and creamy, while the top crust is made from roasted cooked brown rice for a slightly crunchy texture. That crunch pairs nicely with succulent oysters, savory cream, and the background flavor and texture of a little smoky jowl.
1 cup Beulah Land Tan or Beulah Land Medley Long Grain Brown Rice
1 cup clam juice
3/4 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
24 ounces oysters, drained (save liquor)
½ pound hog jowl, heavily trimmed of fat (will have approximately 4 ounces remaining)
Ground black pepper for seasoning jowl
2 ribs celery, diced very finely
1 medium shallot, diced very finely
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 ounces seasonal mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp dry Old Bay Seasoning
½ tsp mace, ground
½ cup Delta Belle Rice Flour
1 cup sweet milk
½ cup reserved liquor from oysters
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups spinach, stem removed and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Pernod’s Absinthe Superieure, or 3 of the other stuff
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, divided
Lemon slices, for juice garnish
Bring clam juice and 1 cup water to boil, add 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 cup rice. Stir, cover with tight fitting lid, turn to simmer, and cook for 35 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. If liquid remains, simmer until evaporated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the top crust: As previously cooked rice cools, remove ¾ cup to small mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well, and spread thinly and uniformly with on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Remove and set aside. When cool, break apart to separate rice kernels.
To make the bottom crust: In a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining cooked rice (about 2 cups), ½ cup Parmesan cheese, Herbes de Provence, and 2 egg whites. Blend well, then to a 9 inch oven proof pie pan treated with cooking spray, begin to cover sides and bottom uniformly (this will be about ¼ inch thick), patting for uniformity. Bake for 15 minutes, or until some kernels begin to brown, remove, and set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the trimmed jowl that’s been seasoned with black pepper. When crisp, remove and drain. Reserve 1 ½ tbsp of drippings in the saucepan. To this with medium heat, add and sauté the garlic, celery, shallot, and mushroom until celery begins to become tender. Add a tbsp olive oil, then rice flour, stirring and coating all the vegetables until flour absorbed. To this, add sweet milk, Old Bay Seasoning, and mace, stirring as mix thickens. Next, add the reserved oyster liquor and cream. Blend well to heat cream, add the lemon juice, Absinthe, and spinach. Blend until spinach heated and wilted.
Dice jowl into small pieces, then add oysters and jowl to the creamed vegetables. Blend well and simmer for 5 minutes to heat oysters.
Spoon oyster blend into rice pie shell, smoothing top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and uniformly spread rice kernels and remaining ¼ cup of shredded Parmesan on top of pie. Bake for additional 15 minutes, or until top begins to brown. Remove and let sit for 15 minute.
Serve with lemon slices for juice garnish. Enjoy!