Until my recent cooking classes, I wondered what exactly was rice pilaf. I knew that I had eaten it before, but never understood what made it a “pilaf.” Rice Pilaf is a dish in which the rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain a variety of meats and vegetables.

I love rice; especially since I spent a two year period of my life eating it three times daily. Ruby has also come to love it. I thought that it would be a great dish to have for leftovers. This is a dish we made in class.

1 pound long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or clarified butte
1 ounce carrot, minced
1 ounce celery, minced
1 ounce onion, minced
32 fluid ounces chicken stock, hot
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Heat the butter or oil in a heavy-gauge pot over medium heat. Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the rice and saute, stirring frequently, until coated with butter or oil and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the heated stock to the rice. Bring to a simmer, stirring the rice once or twice to prevent it from clumping together or sticking to the pot bottom.

Add the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper. Cover the pot, and place it in a 350 degree oven (or leave it over low heat on the stove top). Cook without disturbing until the grains are tender to the bite, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork to separate the grains and release the steam.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

I added all the stock upon instructed. Please hold some back. You can always add more later but taking some out is difficult. The rice was cooked but I still had stock at the bottom. It took some work but turned out.

Also, when the instructions indicate to “Cook without disturbing” please follow. If you stir the rice often while cooking, it becomes sticky rice.

This is a great dish. I always thought of rice as something to put a meat or a vegetable on top of. This adds a component to it where it can be eaten as a great side dish. As you can see, Ruby loved it. She couldn’t even wait for the table, so we ate while sitting on the floor.

Happy Eating

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