Pilaf, pilau, palau or plov, however you call it, it’s basically a rice dish that’s cooked in a seasoned stock, either in the oven or on the stove top. Where did pilaf originate from? There are so many variations from all over the world, that quite possibly they all influenced each other in some sort of way – Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern or Spanish, they all have their own variations and different ingredients used.
Before we go any further, I would like to apologise about my absence – I’ve really missed writing and hearing from you all. School has been hectic these last two-three weeks, where I’ve been making some amazing breads, desserts and pastries. I get home from school and my brain shuts down, saying “no creative writing happening for you tonight Nicole!” I’m also doing work placement (experience) as part of my certificate, which I do on my day/s off as, so when it comes to the weekend, I’m buggered and have no mental capacity to write! Have you ever felt like that at one point in your life? Thank you for being patient & understanding – you guys rock!
But I’m looking forward to bombarding you over the next two weeks with recipes, recipes and experiences (Rick Stein Part 2 on its way!) as I’m on school holidays! So put your apron on, get your saucepans, ingredients and utensils ready and be prepared to cook up a storm with Miss Food Fairy! I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on this pilaf rice or if you have some new recipe ideas you’d like to see me try, feel free to drop me an email.
My mushroom pilaf is something I’ve been cooking for a few years now, so I think it’s about time I shared this family favourite with you. This is my go-to recipe and one that never disappoints as it’s the perfect side dish that goes absolutely any protein you may want to cook, whether it’s red meat on the barbeque, roast chicken or lamb or crispy skin salmon. This pilaf rice will sure to please the whole family.
I love my mushroom pilaf. It’s simple, easy to prepare, it cooks quickly and it’s ready to eat within half an hour – waiting that long is the hardest part about this pilaf! This is the dish I like to prepare when I can’t be bothered standing over the stove to cook, I want something other than mash and peas with dinner or I’m time poor. This pilaf is so easy you’ll never buy packet rice ever again! WARNING: Make extra as you’ll find yourself with a spoonful or two in your mouth prior to serving! You won’t be able to help yourself as it’s that good!
You’ll notice that with most pilaf rice recipes, all ingredients are added and cooked together, my mushrooms are sautéed prior to adding to the rice. Why do I do this, I hear you ask? My reasons for doing this are:
a) the mushrooms have a shiny glossy to them in the pilaf
b) being sautéed in butter, they have a delicious, nutty flavour, which adds more flavour.
If you wish to add the mushrooms in at the same time as the rice and stock, please feel free to do so.
I’ve found these pilaf recipes which I feel inspired by and hopefully I’ll get around to making them one day soon. There’s something here for everyone – vegetarian, seafood, different rices being used and culturally-inspired pilaf. Enjoy!
Brown rice pilaf from Recipe.com uses brown rice as an alternative. Everything is cooked together to make a delicious one-pot meal.
Greek pilaf rice by Not Quite a Vegan (Creole Contessa) – A big thank you goes out to Lisa for allowing me to use her photo. This recipe for Greek pilaf has the zest of lemon and feta to give this a Mediterranean feel. Cooked with jasmine rice, a totally different spin on my pilaf.
Three rice pilaf found at Taste of home, is a contest winning recipe, using brown, long grain and wild rices. Depending on the season, apricots or cranberries are used. Sound like a great rice to take to a party, don’t you think?
Masoor dal Pulao (Red Lentil Rice) at Chef in You is a totally vegetarian option and sounds delicious! Using coconut milk or cream it’s a great alternative to using stock.
TIP 1: Turn this dish vegetarian by using vegetable stock or plain water.
TIP 2: Caraway seeds are another great substitute/alternative to cumin seeds – both taste fantastic!
TIP 3: Add as many vegetables as you like to your pilaf. The only thing I wouldn’t add during the cooking process would be frozen vegetables likes peas or corn – they’ll end up turning to mash which doesn’t look very nice. If you add soft vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or zucchini, add these once you’ve taken the rice off the heat (the steaming stage) as they’ll hold their shape and cook perfectly.
TIP 4: Ensure the frypan you use has a lid. You could also use a dutch oven or cassoulet pan – which I’ve used to cook pilaf in before. Pilaf rice only works properly if the steam is encased in the pan and no stirring happens. Without a lid you’ll have a dry pilaf, which doesn’t taste very good! If you stir the rice you’ll end up with gluggy, congealed rice (yukk!) No one likes that, do they?
TIP 5: Serve this pilaf rice with any leftover meat, chicken or fish you may have in the fridge. Slice or tear up any left-over meat and add it to the frypan 5 minutes before serving. This would be the only time I’d suggest to remove the lid. Make sure you do this quickly, so as not to allow all the steam to escape.
PREP: 6 minutes COOK: 30 minutes SERVES: 4 adults as a side
1½ tablespoons butter
4 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onions, finely diced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup Basmati rice
1½ cups chicken stock
In a large frypan, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Once melted add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Set aside in a bowl for later.
In the same pan, add the oil and onion, cooking for 2 minutes before adding the cumin seeds. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the rice.
Mix in the rice, stirring every thirty seconds, for 2-3 minutes, until some of the rice grains turn golden – toasting the rice grains is my secret to a good pilaf.
Add back in the mushrooms, stirring to combine for a further minute.
Add the stock and cover immediately with the lid. Bring to the boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the rice to sit for 10-15 minutes, covered.
For the perfect, fluffy pilaf, grab a fork and gently rake the rice.
Serve immediately with either chicken, steak or fish dish of your choice. Or as I did, slice last nights steak and add peas for colour. Let me tell you – it was real gooooood!
As seen on Simple Supper Tuesday #29 linkup party – the party features QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!
Who loves Fabulous Foodie Fridays? Lots of amazing food inspiration from all over the world. Hosted by Lucy at Bake Play Smile and Lauren at Create Bake Make. Love being a part of such a wonderful party every week – why don’t you come & join us.
Another great party to come & join is The Weekend Social over at Kitchen Dreaming, The Kitchen Chopper, Culinary Flavors and The Midnight Baker. Lots of recipes and inspiration from all over the world. Come & have some fun with us.