Monday, January 11, 2010

I invented Rice-A-Roni!

That's not quite true. I didn't invent Rice-A-Roni, but I did listen to a radio story about the invention of Rice-A-Roni and make a rice and noodle pilaf loosely based on the recipe that went with the story. And it was delicious, in a salty, starchy, buttery, comfort food kind of way. It was even good the next day as leftovers, and I usually hate leftovers.

I also invented a new Rice-A-Roni flavor: chanterelle mushroom and apricot. Everyone is always saying how chanterelles smell like apricots so I thought it might be a good combination, and it was. I made my own dried chanterelles after going mushroom hunting at Thanksgiving, so I had a big bag of those, and also a big bag of the most amazing dried apricots from the Santa Cruz farmer's market over Christmas. I kind of want to to buy the 25 pound bag for $180--they're that good. Here is the recipe:

1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped
1 small yellow carrot, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup long-grain white rice, like basmati
1/2 cup vermicelli noodles, broken into small pieces
1 handful dried chanterelle mushrooms, also broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup white wine
Vegetable broth powder to taste (I really love Rapunzel brand)
Salt to taste
A tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
5 dried apricots, finely diced

Add the butter, onion, and carrot to a medium-small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about five minutes, then add rice and vermicelli pieces and cook for a few more minutes, until they are nicely coated with butter and beginning to turn golden in spots. Add the dried chanterelles, wine, water, and vegetable broth powder; taste. The water should taste fairly salty. If it doesn't, add more broth powder or salt.

Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low, and cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Check and see if the rice and noodles are done and the water is all absorbed. If not, put the lid back on and cook for five to ten more minutes. Once the pilaf is done--rice and noodles tender but not soggy, liquid absorbed--add the parsley and diced apricots and gently mix into the pilaf. Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment