Saturday, January 27, 2007

Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf is the perfect accompaniment to many Dutch oven entrees. It’s easy to prepare and the cast iron Dutch oven adds an element of forgiveness. You can forget the rice for a few minutes, and it’ll still come out light and fluffy.

To cook wonderful pilaf, lightly browning rice in hot oil. The browned grain gives off a nutty flavor that compliments the stock that’s used to cook the rice. For perfect rice, boil the stock before adding it to the browned rice and sauteed vegetables.

I rarely cook this dish the same way twice. I often use use my basic rice pilaf recipe to get rid of leftover condiments and salsa from the refrigerator.

Today at the El Dorado Western Railway engine house, I added two chopped roasted red peppers from a jar that's been in the cooler for several months. I will often replace up to one-third of the broth with a liquid-based flavor enhancing condiment. My favorites are salsa, tomato sauce and sundried tomato pesto.


This recipe prepares enough for 12 persons. Figure about 1/4-cup raw long-grain rice per serving.

3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large roasted red peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2-1/2 cups long grain rice
4-3/4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour oil in 12-inch Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and sweat. Add garlic and sweat until soft. Add rice, coat with oil and lightly saute until rice is a light brown color. Add broth, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Place lid on oven. Arrange 7 charcoal briquettes under the oven and 15 on lid. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until done. Fluff rice. Serves 12.

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