Quick and Easy Rice Pilaf

I have always had a love affair with rice. My grandpa was from Louisiana and rice is a daily staple in a Louisianan diet. My grandparents were married 60 plus years and my gram made him white rice everyday of their marriage. My gram cooked dinner for everyone in the family most nights so I grew up eating white rice everyday as well. I didn’t mind because I grew to love rice. Everyday my grandpa would say the same thing, “Lin-pin you are going to just get your rice dry? No butter, to gravy, no nothing?” I would answer the same way everyday, “I don’t like anything on my rice grandpa.” He would shake his head as if my answer vexed his soul daily. There were a three exceptions to my plain rice, like when my gram would add butter and sugar to the rice before placing it on the table for the kids to eat. The second exception was fried rice and the third was rice pilaf.

I don’t remember when I first had rice pilaf but I know my family was dining out and it arrived as a side dish. It was love at first bite. I asked my mom what it was and she told me the name of the delicious rice dish. I remember thinking that this was some fancy rice and I would make it a point to find it on menus from that point on. Some time later while in the grocery store with the parental units I spotted my beloved rice on the shelves. The excitement built as I pleaded to have the box placed in the cart so that we could have it as a side dish for Thanksgiving. From then on rice pilaf became a side dish for holidays.

As I learned to cook I began creating some of my favorite boxed items into freshly made recipes and rice pilaf was one of the first successful recipes. This recipe is made with garlic, mushrooms, onions, butter, brown Minute rice, and chicken broth. It is delicious and is easy to whip up on a weeknight. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

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Serving size: 5

Active time: 20 minutes

Inactive time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

8 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 white onion, diced

2 T. garlic, minced (I used Litehouse minced garlic)

1/4 C.unsalted butter IMG_4969

2 C. brown Minute rice or any other parboiled rice

2 C. chicken broth or stock

1 t. Kosher salt

1/2 t. black pepper

1/2 t. granulated garlic

Procedure:

1. Slice the mushrooms, mince the garlic, and dice the onions. They can stay on the cutting board until you are ready to use them.

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2. Heat a pan on medium high. Place the butter into the pan and allow it to melt completely.

3. When the butter has completely melted and the pan is to temp add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and rice to the pan. Saute this mixture for 5 minutes.

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4. After 5 minutes add the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and continue to saute for an additional 5 minutes. You will notice that the rice smells a bit nutty, that it is beginning to toast, and that it is turning golden brown.

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5. Add the chicken broth or stock to the rice and turn the heat up to high. Allow the rice to come to a boil then cover for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

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6. You will know that the rice pilaf is done when the broth has all been absorbed and the rice is tender.

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Serve the rice pilaf hot and enjoy!

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Notes and Variations

  • I used Minute rice for this recipe for two reasons. One reason is because it’s much faster to make the dish with parboiled rice. The other reason is that I find that the rice sticks and burns before it finishes cooking when I use raw rice. The Minute rice allows the dish to cook evenly and perfectly every time.
  • White rice or wild rice can be used instead of or in addition to the brown rice.
  • I like baby Bella mushrooms but any mushrooms can be used in this recipe or removed from this recipe.
  • Vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth to make this a vegetarian dish.
  • Fresh or dried herbs can be added. Some suggestions are basil and/or parsley.
  • Olive oil, canola, or vegetable oil can be used to make this a vegan dish.
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons

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