Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Rice Idea

It's always a simple choice to throw rice in the microwave, with your favorite embellishment, but what can you do to change it up?  Rice pilaf might be a good choice.  It's not much more difficult than the microwave.  Take a saucepan, heat it to medium heat, and coat the bottom with olive oil.  Cook some diced shallots for a few minutes until translucent, or used minced garlic and cook for only 1-2 minutes (so it doesn't burn).  Throw in spices if you like (turmeric or paprika are good for color).  Pour 1 cup in the rice and cook until rice turns a light golden brown.  Pour in two cups of stock, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and let cook for about 25 minutes until soft.  Season to taste.

The garlic adds a nice edge to the rice, and with paprika, it goes nicely on a plate with Mexican food. Turmeric goes nicely with Indian food or can be used to create a cheap alternative to saffron rice.  I've even used it for paella.

For a final idea, if you're really ambitious, you can toast the rice (use arborio), and stir the liquid in about 1/2 cup at a time, adding more as it absorbs.  Stir almost constantly.  You may need to add more liquid that rice normally requires.  Once the rice is edibly soft and creamy from the starch, you have risotto.  Season, serve immediately and take your bow.

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