Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rice Pilaf with Currants & Pine Nuts

Here at the Ricardo's we eat our fair share of rice and while basic white rice is versatile, I like to vary things...  And since we're in the midst of moving, I'm seriously tackling every item in our pantry, fridge & freezer, searching for creative way to not waste anything!

This recipe was a staple when "Ricky" & I first got married but for some reason it got pushed to the back of my mind and I haven't made it in ages...until today!  Enjoy!

Rice Pilaf with Currants & Pine Nuts
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

1 1/2 cups Basmati or Long grain white rice
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2 1/4 cups water
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Here are some step by step instructions:

 1. Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and cover with water; drain the water and repeat until the water run clear, 4 to 5 times.

Tip: Yes, this step really is important as it rinses excess starch from the rice:)

2. Place butter (or olive oil) in medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat over medium heat until shimmering and then add onion (I used red this time & really like it).

"Sweat" (soften) the onions for approx 4 minutes but ensure they don't brown.

3.  Next, add the Cinnamon, Turmeric & garlic and saute for 1 min until the spices have "bloomed" and become very fragrant.

Set your 'handy dandy' electric kettle to boil at this point.

4. Add the rice back to the pot and combine gently with the onion & spice mixture- I prefer wooden spoons to metal/plastic.

Stir frequently for approx 3 minutes- notice the rice grains will turn translucent.

 5. Place salt & pepper in a measuring cup, top with 2 1/4 cups boiling water and pour into pot with the rice, swirling to distribute evenly.

Tip: Avoid stirring with a utensil as this draws unwanted starch from the rice making it more clumpy!

6. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 16-18 minutes.

7. Remove the lid and place a clean kitchen towel around it.  Pour the currants over the rice (don't stir!), return the lid and steam, off the heat for 10 minutes.  No pic, sorry:(

8. Remove the lid, add the toasted pine nuts and gently fork/toss to combine! 

Tip: Never toasted pine nuts? Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast for a few minutes, checking often, until fragrant and golden:)


 If you don't have fresh garlic on hand, Penzeys has solved your predicament with their dried minced garlic- simply add a bit of water to reconstitute for approx 1 minute and add to your recipe as needed:)  I received this as a free item in one of my Penzeys orders and have used it a lot!

Warning: this rice is very addictive, especially if it's left out, so I recommend serving it immediately or portioning it out for your husband's lunch, the way I did!

Thanks for stopping by,

1 comment:

  1. I would like to testify that this is a fantastic rice dish and like Tiffany said, highly addictive! It's one of my all time favorite rice recipes.