A Spanish dish from the Valencia region, paella is named for the cooking vessel itself: a round, shallow pan made of carbon steel that heats quickly and evenly. A good paella pan helps develop the socarrat, or crispy layer of rice crust on the bottom that's the most prized part of the dish. A large skillet will work as well if you don't have a paella pan. Look for short-grain Bomba or Valencia rice at specialty markets. Be aware that risotto rice like Arborio won't work here, since paella rice isn't meant to be creamy.
Adobo is a revered Filipino dish that calls for chicken (or pork) stewed in a soy and vinegar broth, which is then reduced to a glaze and served with rice. The marinade cooks down to an intensely flavored sauce that makes this dish irresistible. Many recipes call for sugar in the braising liquid, but we've omitted it to avoid added sugar.
A favorite in Minnesota, a region known for its wild rice, this dish is a bowl of pure comfort. Sherry and tomato paste add a touch of acidic brightness to balance the creamy, starchy broth. If you can't find celery root, use a russet potato instead.
Biryani is a South Asian classic and one of India's most popular dishes. Here, it strikes an ideal balance of homey and exotic. Biryani gets plenty of flavor and fragrance from the spice mix, which typically includes turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and cumin. We use basmati rice here, which is a delicate white rice with an almost floral aroma. We particularly like Royal brand basmati, which has extraordinarily long grains.