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Friday, June 6, 2014

Lemon Orzo-Rice Pilaf

              I really liked this GF product. It cooked up well and was a nice addition to the rice.

I've making lemon rice pilaf for eons. My kids loved all types of rice dishes and when I needed to be a single Mama with three kiddos, rice was a main meal staple sometimes three times a day. We ate it steamed, boiled, pilaf-ed, usually in a savory manor.
In fact, none of us like rice pudding - American Style. It's almost indescribable yucky due to a mouth feel problem. The stickiness, overwhelming and cloyingly sweet, thick goop just isn't palatable to me and mine. 

You might have a great recipe for it. Please share then and tell why. There are only two ways that we have eaten it acceptably sweet and they are:
Thai rice pudding with blueberries, and "Sabbath" dish where you spoon rice into the bowl and everyone chooses what they top it with like brown sugar and cinnamon, berries, a little milk or cream poured around the bottom of the bowl, etc. That could be alright since each person controlled what was included in their "dish". This was introduced to us by some Seventh-Day Adventist friends of ours.

It's funny that I even thought of the SDA dish. I've been seeing a lot of rice pudding recipes lately, trying not o gag while I even look at the photos. I think this problem stems back to my maternal grandmother who made absolutely abominable rice pudding. I'm not sure which application would have been best for it, cottage cheese ceiling filler which is sprayed on the dry wall, or wall paper paste. Either way makes my stomach ache. Seriously!

So the acceptable way to eat rice at my house is savory. This goes so well with fish and all types of seafood, chicken, BBQ anything, Sunday roast beef, or all vegetarian. I love a bowl of hot rice just about anytime. Top it with butter, and Teriyaki sauce stirred together and it's magic - for me anyway. That was a "fusion" of sorts back when Candice was a new-born babe. I was the only one in the house that wasn't ill, and couldn't leave to get any provisions. So we had rice, apples, chicken, carrots and celery, bread, butter, and condiments. Wee-haw! We made the best of the circumstances. So I cooked rice and experimented with the butter and the Teriyaki sauce together. It's still a favorite of mine today. Try it, you just might like it!

In the meantime try the pilaf, it's really wonderful.

Lemon Orzo-Rice Pilaf                 About 8 servings

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup GF orzo pasta
3-4 cups chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt - * if using table salt cut amount in half
1/2 teaspoon Lawrey's Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
1 large shallot - minced finely
1-2 large lemons, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices, remove the seeds, leave peeling on

1. In a large pre-heated cast iron skillet (or other type if you don't have one), pour in the oil and then place the butter in the middle of the oil pool. This helps the butter have a bit higher heating limit for step #2.
2. Once butter is melted and bubbly, pour in the rice, the shallot, and the pasta, stirring constantly and sautéing them on low heat until they just start to turn golden in color. You will start to smell them toasting as well. Be very vigilant! This can turn and burn very quickly and isn't salvageable, you'd just have to start over. 
3. Once the rice, shallot, and orzo are golden, add in the herbs, salts, pepper, and stir them in for about 60 seconds. then immediately add in 3 of the 3-4 cups chicken stock or water. You want to add in the least amount, adding as time goes by so the pilaf is cooked and fluffy, not gluey and gummy. Add in the lemon slices.
4. Bring all to boil, then turn down to your absolute lowest possible heat (mine actually would turn off if I lowered the flames any further). Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. If at any time while checking that you think there's not enough fluids, add about 1/4-1/2 cup, stir it in, then continue simmering. If you get to the end of the cooking time and it's still not fully cooked, add the rest and cook about 5 minutes more. The addition of the pasta will change the ratio of water or broth added, so just be prepared to keep an eye on it.
5. Turn heat off and let the rice set for about 10 minutes. Then serve. The lemons are completely edible, peel and all.