But quite simply, sometimes, while the every day side dishes of the world (like this rice pilaf) aren’t drool-worthy or even comment-worthy, they sure find their place in dinnertime rotations and are even more essential than the crazy popular dishes that go viral. I love having a go-to rice pilaf recipe because it is the perfect accompaniment to so many entrees. Here are a few we serve this classic rice pilaf with:
Grilled Island Chicken
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Honey Roast Chicken
Baked Southwest Egg Rolls
Chicken or Beef Kebabs
Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu or the Easy Version
Glazed Mini Meatloaves (when I’m not in the mood for potatoes)
Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
Chili Rubbed Pork with Apricot Glaze
Grilled Pork Chops
Oven Baked Ribs
Smothered Pork Chops
Phew! After a list like that, it should be pretty obvious that this delicious, flavorful and easy rice pilaf most definitely has its place in the world.
Simple Rice Pilaf
- 1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 4 ounces spaghetti or vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 3 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- Ground black pepper
- Place the rice in a medium bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches; using your hands, gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off the water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat four to five times, until water runs almost clear. Using a colander or fine mesh strainer, drain water from rice and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the rinsed and drained rice and the broken, uncooked noodles. Cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the water and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, take off the lid and place a kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan; replace the lid. Let the rice stand 10 minutes; fluff with a fork and serve.
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Recipe Source: adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook