Rice Pilaf with Almonds

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, preferably basmati or jasmine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, or half stock and half water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 

Time Estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 30 min  

Total time: 40 min  

 

Directions

  1. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes and drain thoroughly.
  2. Warm the oil in a 10-inch or larger skillet and add the almonds. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the almonds are lightly browned. Remove the almonds with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook until they are soft and beginning to color, but not browned. Add the rice, stir to coat with the oil, and cook for a minute or two. Add the stock and salt, bring just to a boil, and reduce the heat as low as possible. Cover and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the almonds, replace the cover, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
 

Yield

Makes 8 servings

 

Good to know

Pilaf is a method of cooking rice (and sometimes other grains) that begins with cooking the dry grains in oil, then adding the liquid all at once and cooking the rice undisturbed. Pilafs can be main dishes containing meats and vegetables, or side dishes like this.

 

Which beer should I drink with this?

Sudwerk Pilsner, Full Sail Amber Ale

 

Variations

Pilafs lend themselves to lots of variations; just try to avoid too much repetition of ingredients from other dishes in the menu. Here are some possibilities:
  • Crumble a large pinch of saffron threads into a small bowl of stock and set in a warm place while soaking the rice. Add the mixture along with the rest of the stock.
  • Add a handful of raisins, dried currants, or diced dried apricots (plumped in a little warm water) to the pilaf at the end, with the almonds.
  • Substitute chopped pistachios (skip the initial frying step) or raw cashews (which definitely need frying) for the almonds. 
Menu

A Levantine Dinner for Eight 

This menu combines some of the favorite dishes of the lands of the eastern end of the Mediterranean. While religion prevents many residents of the region from drinking beer, their cuisines still provide us with lots of beer-friendly foods; not surprising, since this is where humans first cultivated grains thousands of years ago, and first converted them into something we would recognize as beer.

 

 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

 

 

 

Photo: chordmonkey/Flickr