Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rice Pilaf

You never have to settle for plain rice again.  Use this recipe as a starting point and experiment with your own variations.

Rice Pilaf
Adapted from "The Language of Baklava" by Dianna Abu-Jaber

4 - 6 tablespoons butter (can substitute/blend with olive oil)
4 ounces spaghetti noodles, crumbled (can substitute any tiny pasta - orzo, pastina, etc.)
2 cups long-grain rice
4 cups water (or homemade/low-sodium chicken broth)
1 teaspoon salt (leave out if using broth)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pepper to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in bottom of large heavy saucepan with lid.  Crumble uncooked spaghetti into warmed butter, stir until spaghetti just begins to "toast".  Add rice, and if needed additional butter.  Continue to stir until rice is coated and spaghetti begins to smell nutty.  Add liquid and salt and turn up heat to bring to a boil.  Once water is boiling, cover with lid and lower fire to simmer, approx. 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes.
Melt remaining butter in small sautee' pan and toast pine nuts until golden.

Sprinkle butter and pine nuts over rice and dust with cinnamon.  Add pepper to taste.

  • Add or substitute almonds or pecans for the pine nuts and/or add dried cranberries, golden raisins, dried cherries.
  • To make a rice dressing or to make this dish a main course, add cooked crumbled sausage or ground beef/turkey.

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