Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rice Pilaf

I'd always wanted to try making a rice pilaf. I mean, it seemed so simple - rice, some sort of seasoning, and perhaps a vegetable or two. However, whenever I tried an "impromptu" (i.e., without looking up a recipe) pilaf, I failed miserably. Then, one day while watching Good Eats, I saw Alton Brown make a rice pilaf that seemed remarkably easy. So, last month, when Z was here and I was therefore cooking and blogging more regularly, I thought that it would be a great time to try making a pilaf. Alton's recipe was remarkably easy, although it was not super flavorful. I'm not sure exactly what I'd change (more garlic, perhaps, or some pepper), but it is something I will certainly play around with.

Rice Pilaf
adapted from Good Eats

2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
2 pinches kosher salt
2 cups long grain rice (I used jasmine rice)
2-3/4 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp orange zest
Pinch of saffron strands, steeped in 1/4 cup hot water
1 bay leaf
Golden raisins for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a heavy, wide, lidded pan, melt butter over medium-low heat
  • Add onion, pepper, and salt, sweat until aromatic, stirring constantly
  • Add rice and stir to coat and rice begins to smell nutty
  • Add chicken broth, orange zest, saffron and water, and bay leaf & bring to boil
  • Cover pan with moistened dish towel (or tea towel). Place lid on pan and fold towel corners over lid
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes without removing the cover.
  • Remove lid from rice and turn out onto a platter
  • Fluff with a large fork and add raisins

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