Food Scout: Spanish Rice
Amaryll Schwertner stocks Boulette's Larder, her new San Francisco food shop and café, with exotic discoveries like Javanese long peppers and Japanese bamboo charcoal. But her favorite find is a short-grain white rice called Bomba that she found nearly 20 years ago while teaching cooking in Barcelona. She sells the Santo Tomas brand, packaged in "breathable" cloth bags and marked with expiration dates to ensure freshness ($15 for 1 kg; 415-399-1155).
Iced Horchata Soak raw Bomba rice overnight in milk along with a cinnamon stick or lemon zest and a halved vanilla bean; or crushed saffron and orange zest. Add sugar and puree in a blender; strain and serve over ice.
Rice Pudding Simmer plain cooked Bomba in whole milk without stirring until the milk thickens; add finely grated lemon zest, pure vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Toasted Rice Seasoning In a dry skillet, toast raw Bomba until golden, then grind it in a coffee mill with sea salt, pepper, and orange zest, dried chiles or cardamom; sprinkle over grilled meats or roasted vegetables.