Monday, July 11, 2011

Rice Pilaf

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Rice pilaf has been a highly requested side dish that unfortunately has been relegated to the “It’s too easy to make I really don’t know how to explain it!” category. I have gotten comments about how I cook my rice and my response is always the same, “I’ve been cooking rice since I was 12 years old, it is just something I do well.” Being Asian, it is almost sacrilege to not learn how to cook rice perfectly without the aid of a rice cooker. Our family never had one until I was in high school since it became the fad then. I hate to admit it but it does make your life simpler but I’ve never really felt the need to buy one when I left home since I was taught how to cook rice the old school way. 

The way we cook rice back home is a bit different. For one, our rice variety is verging on the sticky side and my Dad is very particular on how his rice is cooked. It has to be sticky enough and yet, not mushy that it resembles a rice pudding or something close to becoming one. Rice pilaf on the other hand has to be cooked a certain way where the individual rice grain is distinct from the rest of the bunch and yet, be soft without the gritty aftertaste of an uncooked rice. I’ve managed to figure out how to cook rice pilaf using brown, basmati and regular long grain rice and so far, my technique has never failed me. I hope you master this technique as well to full effect. I prefer my pilaf on the bland side to be paired with a rich main dish but you can tweak my recipe to suit your tastes. Just make sure to keep the grain and liquid ratio similar. 

Rice Pilaf with Herbs de Provence

1 medium onion, diced
¾ tsp herbs de provence
3-4 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white wine
2 cups hot low sodium broth
2 cups hot water
2 cups rice (white long grain, basmati or brown)
Salt and pepper
¼ cup chopped parsley (garnish)

1. Sauté the onions in a medium pot (non-stick is best) over medium  
    heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add the herbs and sauté for a minute or two. Add the rice and cook  
    until the rice grains have absorbed all the oil. You may need to add
    more oil if needed.

3. Add the white wine and let it simmer for about a minute.

4. Add the hot stock and the hot water and increase the heat to  
    medium high. Make sure that the liquid is about an inch above the  
    level of the rice. Cook uncovered until it starts to boil.

5. Once the liquid starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and let the  
    broth boil off until you have barely just enough liquid covering the
    top layer of the rice. Decrease the heat to low and cover the pot. 

6. Let the rice steam cook for about 30 minutes. If the broth oozes out
    when you cover the pot, remove the cover and leave it open for
    about five minutes before covering the pot again. 

7. When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a wooden spatula and add in  
    the herbs and mix well. Serve immediately. 

1 comment:

  1. “I’ve been cooking rice since I was 12 years old, it is just something I do well.” - same here!... :-)