Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rice Pilaf with Thyme

I have a tendency to get into ruts. Whenever I need a starch, I automatically make rice. Just plain old white rice. It’s quick and easy. Much quicker and easier than the mashed potatoes I was raised on. And mashed potatoes are so not good for you. I’ve been experimenting with other ways to make potatoes such as roasting them, but cleaning them and cutting them, and herbing them and finally roasting them takes so much time and effort. It’s much easier to throw 1 ½ cups of rice into 2 cups of water, simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it steam for another ten minutes. As they said in the commercial, “perfect rice every time”.

I need to get out of my rice rut. Since I was making chicken, I decided to go with rice pilaf. My first instinct was to revisit the Wild Basmati Pilaf recipe, making the changes I had planned on. After reviewing the recipe, I decided that it had too many ingredients and too many steps. I had been suffering with “flu-like symptoms” all week and wanted something easy to prepare. Like plain old white rice.

Next I hit the internet. Who knew there were so many variations of rice pilaf? It seems it can be made with every conceivable ingredient and seasoning. I didn’t even know where to start. Fortunately, Martha came to my rescue. She offers a very simple recipe using fresh thyme which I was also using in the chicken recipe.

I think I will have to take A’s advice and buy a timer that can time more than one thing at a time. I had difficulty (because I was so ill) timing both the chicken and the rice. Luckily, the rice was forgiving and I was able to “guesstimate” the cooking time and have it come out right. Better than right. This is an easy and delicious recipe that I’ll be making again and again.

Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!!

Rice Pilaf with Thyme
(source: Martha

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 ½ cups canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, 8 to 9 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and thyme.

Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until rice is just tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.

Serves 4

Recycle: chicken broth can

Compost: onion skins

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