The Ultimate Rice Pilaf

Living in Minnesota for a while, I’ve come to live the infamous “hotdish” and similar dishes. Truth be told, I grew up on this kind of food as a kid, years ago. Stuffed peppers, chicken and rice casserole, or, yes, hamburger-rice hotdish, it’s all “comfort food” to me.

Something I make quite often is a variety of rice pilaf; it’s easy and quick to make, and cheap, to boot. Of course, it’s also delicious. 🙂 It’s a variation on an Armenian pilaf recipe you can see here, and makes twice as much.

Use the same four tablespoons of butter, melted over very low heat in a two-quart saucepan that you have a lid to. Toss in two handfuls of any kind of small noodles you’ve got on hand – egg noodles work well, as do macaroni and similar things. Brown very lightly, but don’t scorch. Toss in two or three cloves of finely-chopped garlic, a pinch of ground dill, as many chopped mushrooms as you’d like, and one or two diced medium onions; stir until the onions are cooked and become transluscent.

Add in four cups of chicken broth; if you’re making it from powder or concentrate, it’s okay to make it a little bit (20-25%) stronger, for extra flavor. Dump in two cups of jasmine rice, stir well, and cover. Let simmer for twenty-five minutes, fluff, let stand for five minutes uncovered, and voila, a seriously delicious rice pilaf.

Jasmine rice is usually associated with asian cooking. Not only is it cheaper and easier to cook with than “white” rice, it has significantly more flavor, and a delicious aroma. If you’ve never cooked with the stuff, pick up a few pounds and try it. It substitutes perfectly for plain white rice in just about any recipe, and is better in pretty much every way.

The quantity of mushrooms used is entirely up to you. If you’re using fresh ones, you might as well use a full container; on the other hand, if you have to use regular canned mushrooms, more than one can gets expensive pretty quick. If you live near an asian grocery, you should be able to hunt up a 15-ounce can of “straw mushrooms” for $1.50 or less, the “broken” ones are usually cheapest, sometimes as little as $0.99. They taste just like the mushrooms everybody’s familiar with, and, once chopped and cooked, look just the same, too.

I know, I know, you’re thinking “a European pilaf made with asian rice and mushrooms? What the hell?”. Seriously, if you didn’t know what was in it, you’d never know it wasn’t authentic “Old Europe” cooking. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…

Published in: General | on February 7th, 2007| 1 Comment »

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  1. On 2/1/2017 at 6:17 am meme Said:

    WOw thiS is really good rice pilaf meme oooooo so good made me cuummmmmmmmmmm alll over myself. thanks you som uch