This one is easy and so delicious. I used to rely on those box mixes, you know the ones here in the states I think they are made by a brand called Near East or something like that? They are good and convenient. That is, until you know how good and convenient it is to make your own! And this one is better than good, it is actually crave-worthy. And you probably have everything you need to make this sitting in your pantry.
Pilaf is basically rice cooked in broth, as opposed to water and seasoned with various herbs and/or spices. It often has onion and garlic in it. Also, besides plain old white rice, there is usually the addition of another grain or pasta, in this case orzo, which is browned prior to the addition of the white rice and cooking liquid. That is what gives it that classic appearance. Orzo is just a short-cut pasta that resembles a large grain a rice. And guess what, if you don’t have orzo on hand, you can simply take a handful of spaghetti noodles are start snapping them into little piece! How fun is that? Then just use those pieces in place of the orzo in this recipe. I have done it both ways with delicious results.
Since it is summer I had to add some fresh herbs from the garden. I used a bit of thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley and chives. I added the hardier herbs (the oregano and rosemary) before cooking and the others after cooking to retain their fresh taste and beautiful green color. I also went a bit heavy handed on the addition of fresh lemon juice at the end of this, which to me is a very good thing. I just love the brightness that it adds to this dish. For good measure, I added a handful of frozen peas to the rice just at the end of cooking. This isn’t necessarily traditional but it sure was good.
And since I have all of your attention I want to apologize for my slow-down in getting posts up recently. This summer seems to be zipping right by me. I guess you could say I’ve been keeping busy! I am starting to research starting up my own bakery and am going to be taking a class in the next couple of weeks to get me on track with that as there is a lot to take into consideration! I want to do this all the right way and there is a lot of work to do. So please be patient with me, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of exciting adventures to share with you as everything starts to unfold! I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a LITTLE overwhelming but once I can get my head around it I think I will be on my way! I’m super excited though and can’t wait to make my dream a reality. 🙂
(Adapted from “Sarah’s Rice Pilaf” on allrecipes.com)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ cup orzo pasta (may substitute the same amount of spaghetti broken into ½ inch pieces)
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup uncooked white rice
- 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup fresh, chopped herbs*
- ¼ cup frozen peas, optional
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Melt the butter in a lidded skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the orzo and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in onion and cook until onion becomes translucent, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the white wine (deglaze) and cook until boiling.
- Mix in the rice, chicken broth and a pinch of salt.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Stir in the frozen peas, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Peas should thaw out very quickly from the residual heat of the rice and pan.
- Stir in the fresh herbs and serve.
*Note: If using tougher herbs such as rosemary and oregano, add them in before covering and simmering. Add more delicate herbs like parsley and chives at the end.