Thursday, 14 August 2008

Just For Pilafs

I just completed my third What's For Dinner moments ago. I gave my blog to the attendees and so here I am writing a recipe for those who didn't have time to write it down.

Rice is so easy to cook and yet so many people find ways to get it wrong. There are some tricks to the trade but keeping it simple works well for rice. Rice Pilaf refers to the cooking method where vegetables are cut up, sautéed with the rice and cooked in the oven with the broth. Obviously, there are several ways to cook rice but the pilaf method is straightforward and usually turns out well.

The class today was a demo of a Chicken Curry dish with sweet potatoes and carrots which was provided for me. Pretty easy dish actually. But I`m not sure if it`s kosher for me to provide the chicken recipe (truth is, all chefs take dishes, change it up then claim as their own) so I`ll stick to the starch only.

When cooking rice, check the packaging for the quantities. I used Basmati which is typically 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice.

Basic Rice Pilaf

200 g Basmati Rice, rinse if necessary
400 ml Chicken Stock
1 Carrot, small dice
1 Celery, small dice
1 Red Onion, small dice
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Small Chunk Of Ginger, peeled and grated
Drizzle of Sesame Oil
Dab of Butter
Sal and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a small sauce pan, heat up chicken stock. If you have any trimmings, add to stock. Bring to boil and strain.

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil for 1 minute. Add veg, ginger, garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and sauté until translucent. Add stock and bring to boil. Add butter and seasonings. Cover with oven proof lid and cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and fluff with a fork.

Serves 6 sides.

A Humble Chef`s Tip: Once the rice has come to a boil, stop stirring the pot and cover quickly. If stirred too often, the starch can bleed out making it gummy.

Variation: Use half tomato juice, half stock, add some chili powder and cayenne and you have Mexican Rice.

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