Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rice Pilaf

I often fail when cooking rice and potatoes.  Maybe it's because they're meal staples and seem so simple, so I assume I don't need to follow a recipe.  So here's an American tested recipe for rice that is a winner!  My daughter, who will eat nothing for dinner but whatever residual juices remain from a piece of whatever protein she put in her mouth before spitting it out, actually ate all of this rice.  It's now my fail-safe for sure.

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Rice Pilaf
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups basmati rice or long-grain rice
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion , minced (about 1/2 cup)

1. Rinse rice in colander or fine mesh strainer 4 or 5 times.  This rids them of excess starch and makes the rice fluffier and so lovely looking.  Set aside.

2. Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil, covered, in small saucepan over medium-high heat, add salt and keep warm. (Okay, I skipped this step because I wasn't feeling it, but I imagine it helps the salt to dissolve.)

3. Meanwhile, heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat until foam begins to subside; add onion and sauté until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat grains with butter; cook until edges of rice grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir hot seasoned water into rice; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Off heat, remove lid, and place kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan; replace lid. (Again, didn't do this step.  It seemed excessive, though in retrospect I'm not sure why using a kitchen towel seemed too difficult and fussy to me.) Let stand 10 minutes; fluff rice with fork and serve.

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