Simple Rice Pilaf

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‘Sup Pilaf?  Sorry…if you don’t have kids who watch “iCarly” you probably have NO IDEA why I just said that.  If you DO have kids who watch iCarly, then you probably just chuckled along with me.  Ever since that episode where Mrs. Pilaf comes to talk to Carly about their private school and Sam greets her with ” ‘Sup Pilaf?” and a high five…I can’t say Rice Pilaf without chuckling and thinking of Sam.  Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that’s hilarious?    We also use the phrase “How are your buttocks?” a lot now too…thanks to that same episode.  But, I digress.  And you probably think I’ve lost my mind.  Maybe I have. 

But, lost minds aside…I wanted to share with you today how I make a simple rice pilaf (heehee).  Sorry, I’ll try to contain myself.  This is a very versatile side dish because you can basically throw in whatever you have on hand and make it different every time.  Once you know the simple “formula” then you’re good to go.  So, let’s get started!

First, you want to add a good hunk’a butter to a skillet.  I’m making enough rice pilaf for 4, so I’m using probably 2-3 tbsp here.  It’s not an exact science, so don’t sweat it too much.  Let that butter get nice and melty.

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Now, add your rice.  I used about 1-1/2 cups here. 

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Add in any ‘aromatic’ vegetables that need a while to cook down…like onions, garlic, carrots, etc. at this point.  I added chopped onions and some garlic today.  Let this cook until the rice is a nice golden brown.  The veggies should be somewhat soft at that point as well.

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Now add liquid…about double the amount of rice you used.  So, I used about 3 cups of liquid…in this case, chicken stock.  Chicken stock is what I use 90% of the time, but occasionally I’ll use beef stock, or just water.  You coud even use white wine for this, or a combination of wine and stock.

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Now, put a lid on it and let it simmer until the rice is almost cooked through.  Then add any vegetables you have that don’t need a lot of cooking time…brocolli, peas, artichokes, etc.  I used some roughly chopped cooked brocolli I had left over from dinner the night before, so I just tossed it in at the very last.

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 Add in any herbs you want, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Now you’re ready to eat!  Sometimes I even add some fresh parmesan cheese on top…yumm!

Now, let me run down that ‘formula’ again for you.

  1. Melt butter in pan.
  2. Add dry rice and any ‘firm’ veggies/aromatics; cook until rice is golden.
  3. Add liquid, about twice the amount of rice you used.
  4. Cover and cook until rice is tender.
  5. Add ‘soft’ veggies, herbs, salt and pepper.

So there you go, Simple Rice Pilaf that can be adjusted according to what you have on hand.  This is a good one to make on “clean out the fridge night”.    You can even add leftover cooked meat to this recipe (at the end, after the rice has cooked) and basically make it a meal in and of itself.

‘Sup, Pilaf?

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