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    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Pilaf - Great for Vegetarians

    Another TV Chef who is also very informative, is Alton Brown.
    His programme “Good Eats” is another favourite of mine.
    The episode on Rice delivered this Pilaf recipe.
    Good vego option.

    Hint…Don’t forget to season the liquid that you are using for the rice well, before cooking, Just dip your finger in and taste…it’s never the same adding the salt later.

    There is also a technique that you need, to make sure the lid is tight on your pan when it goes into the oven.
    Very simple.
    First take a damp tea towel
    Place it over the pan
    Put the lid on and then fold the edges over before it goes into the oven
    For 4 people

    2 tablespoon olive oil or you may use butter…your choice.
    1 large red onion chopped
    1 red pepper finely chopped

    2 stalks celery finely sliced
    2 cups long grain rice
    3 1/2 cups of chicken stock…you can use water.
    Pinch saffron
    2 bay leaves
    1 large strip of orange peel.

    1 leek, finely sliced and lightly sauteed in a little butter

    1 cup frozen peas – defrosted

    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup chopped almonds.

    Heat a pan and add olive oil
    Sauté gently the onion till translucent
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Add red pepper and celery
    Continue to sauté till soft.
    Add rice and toss around to bet each grain coated with oil.

    n.b.If you want to make this ahead...go to this stage and set aside to continue later.
    Let the rice cook for about 3-4 minutes, till it gets toasty
    Add bay leaves, orange peel

    Check your chicken stock and make sure that it is seasoned well.

    Take 1/2 cup and let the saffron steep about 15 minutes.

    Add all liquid to the pan stir and bring to the boil.
    Now very important
    Stir only once

    Cover with lid wrapped in a damp tea towel (see above)

    Into 180C oven for 15 minutes
    Remove and leave covered for another 15 to 20 minutes.
    It will keep on cooking and absorbing the liquid.

    Have a platter all ready for serving.
    Don’t stir yet, just tip onto the plate
    Then you can fluff it up with a large fork
    Add other ingredients
    Toss again and serve.
    Add some protein if you like.
    The chicken eaters at the table popped on some smoked chicken.
    A big favourite with all

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