Scallops à la Bento

We are leaving for Russia by the end of the week and are trying to get rid of excess food in the house.  Supplies are dwindling, so this bento was made from freezer and pantry staples  -  well, mostly from those.  I still have fresh veggies and fruit to put in the top.  Scallops seem pretty unusual in a lunch but I needed something that would defrost quickly since I didn't plan this bento until I woke up this morning.  I think it turned out very nicely nonetheless.

Layer 1 contains fresh veggies and cheese, orange slices, blackberries, and blueberries.  There is also some rice pudding dusted with cinnamon.  The veggies, fruit, and cheese are all fresh.  The rice pudding is premade.

Layer 2 contains a main course of saffron rice, pan-seared scallops, and frozen veggies (Green Giant Healthy Weight veggies: sliced carrots, sugar snap peas, black beans, and edamame).  I've added some white wine to the butter sauce.


Saffron Rice in a Rice Cooker

My rice cooker has a brown function so that I can sauté things in it.  It also makes rice in 10 minutes, so I tend to make rice in the morning if I need it for a bento.  I thought about using some leftover rice from a Chinese restaurant that I have in the freezer but I wanted a splash of color.  White rice and scallops (which are also white) would have been too visually bland.  So, here's what I did.

     1/4 cup diced onions
     1/4 tsp spigol (a saffron substitute)
     2 cups chicken broth
     1 cup of basmati rice
     1 tbsp butter
     salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions in the butter.  Once they are translucent, add the spigol or saffron.  Then add the rice, stirring to distribute the spigol.  Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and turn on the rice cooker.  Ten minutes later, you have a lovely yellow rice!

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