Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The San Francisco Treat
I have to admit that I as an adult I have never been a huge fan of rice. White rice is so white and to me, brown rice is too earthy. It's not since Rice-A-Roni that I looked forward to rice as a side dish.
I have no idea if Rice-A-Roni really came from San Francisco. It doesn't matter because it was a catchy slogan and we all know it's all about what's catchy. I still remember the slogan, and the commercials for that matter, so I'd say it was a successful ad campaign.
But here's the thing. All Rice-A-Roni was was a flavored rice pilaf. It wasn't anything particularly fancy or special. Yes, it was convenient. But was it the best rice pilaf around? Probably not.
Back then, I didn't actually know what rice pilaf was and I certainly didn't know that that's what Rice-A-Roni was. I'm not sure my mother did either.
But now that I'm a self-appointed food professional, I know a lot more about things like rice pilaf and I'm here to tell you that making your own produces a far tastier pilaf than anything you'll ever find in a box. And making your own is just as easy. It's really just a couple of ingredients and you'll have your own San Francisco treat.
And for those brown rice lovers among us, if you were so inspired, you could make a brown rice pilaf. Just increase the cooking time to accommodate for the differences in the rice.
Recipe: Herbed Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup dried angel hair pasta, broken into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons assorted fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley, dill, etc.)
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion until it is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and the pasta and saute, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Fluff rice with a fork, and stir in the herbs.