Mulatto RiceOriginally when I decided on posting this recipe, I thought I'd lead into it with a bit of an excerpt about Pilaus, because it, again, speaks indulgently and patronizingly about "the old cooks" and "our admiring imitators," but I think there's plenty to wrestle with with Mulatto Rice.
This is the very chic name given to rice with a touch of the tarbrush.
Fry squares of breakfast bacon and remove from the pan. Then brown some minced onion (one small one) in this grease, and add one pint can of tomatoes. When thoroughly hot, add a pint of rice to this mixture, and cook very slowly until the rice is done. Or, if you are in a hurry, cold rice may be substituted, and all warmed thoroughly together.
Before reading this recipe, I don't think I'd ever heard or read the phrase "a touch of the tarbrush." It sent off alarms -- there's something going on here, surely. But it couldn't mean what I think it means...right? Perhaps it just means that the onions and the rice get dark from the frying...?
Yeah, no. It's as unappealing as can be. Really, the lead in to the next recipe, Mexican Rice," should have made it clear without me doing more web research. ("This seems to be a sort of first cousin to the dark horse above.")
And I still can't get past the idea that "Mulatto Rice" is somehow a "chic" name; what the hell were they calling it before they called it this? No, wait; don't tell me. I doubt I'll like it.
Stepping away from the socio-linguistic meltdown going on in my head, let's look at the recipe itself...
...this looks good. It looks easy. It looks like a pantry dinner -- using staples to quickly feed the household. And, really, bacon fat is always a good thing.
My husband, Nick, and friend, Mab, both asked if I was going to cook anything to go along with these blog posts; I've decided to cook one of the recipes a week. This week, I'm going to make Mulatto Rice (only in part because I don't really have a social occasion on the books that would call for gallons of Chatham Artillery Punch). I'll share the results here.
Is it wrong that I want to throw shrimp in this?