by Ava Morlier
Happy October! Since the holiday of this month provides many sweet flavors (halloween candy, anyone?), today’s dish is savory and warm (to fight the coming chilly temperatures): rice pilaf.
Though pilaf can seem pretty basic, its basic nature allows this dish to be versatile and easy to make. No constant incorporation of liquid is needed (much unlike a risotto); the toasted rice (providing a richer flavor) is added to liquid all at once. Today’s recipe plays up the versatile nature of the dish, taking flavor cues from Mediterranian tastes. Ingredients such as curry powder (provides a subtle flavor boost to the dish, perfect for those wanting to try a traditional pilaf dish but aren’t fans of regular curry), golden raisins (adds elements of color, chewiness, and sweet contrast to the mainly savory flavors of this dish), and the addition of chopped cashews (brings a boost of texture and a slightly sweet creamy flavor) may seem different, but provides a powerful flavor punch that boosts this dish from mundane to mouthwatering.
Enjoy your October, and may this dish warm you and your family in these increasingly colder days!
Rice Pilaf with Raisins and Veggies
3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
4 stalks celery
½ large onion
4 green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. curry powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups rice (white or brown)
½ c. golden raisins
¼ cups chopped cashews (optional)
Put the pot on medium heat and add chicken broth; let simmer. Heat pan on medium heat. Wash and chop celery, onion. and green onions (divide the green and white parts and chop); mince garlic. Measure out rice and set aside.
Once the pot is warm, melt butter (or add oil). Add celery, white part of green onion, and onion to pan; season with curry powder and salt and cook until tender (5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until aromatic (10 seconds).
Take vegetables out of the pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add rice to pan and let cook until lightly toasted (3 minutes). Make sure rice is evenly distributed throughout the pan in order to ensure every grain is toasted and not burnt.
Once toasted, add to simmering chicken stock. Turn heat down to medium-low. Let cook for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed by the rice. Take off of the heat.
Add vegetables, golden raisins, and the chopped green onion tops. Stir until well combined; serve.
1 large pot, 1 skillet, spatula, cutting board, chef’s knife, liquid and solid measuring utensils, spoon, fork, medium bowl.
*With Credit to Jaquine’s Rice Pilaf with Raisins and Veggies recipe on allrecipes.com.