There’s not a whole lot to say about this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe other than that it’s a delightful side dish that I ate on its own for at least one meal this week. Also, that it had totally changed my mind about cooking rice other than in a rice cooker. Yes, this Cardamom Rice Pilaf (p. 378) was a revelation in a number of ways. Six simple ingredients and 30 minutes made for a dish with a much more complex flavour than you would expect.
Inside the ugly pods, are somewhat ugly seeds whose appearance belies their taste. Light and citrusy, they release even more flavour when you press the seeds with the flat of a chef’s knife and the aroma and flavour only continue to deepen when you cook them. The lemon zest adds a little more citrusy zing and the chicken stock infuses the finished pilaf dish with a buttery flavour and texture.
Now, let me tell you that rice and peas is one of the first thing I remember cooking on my own and I never used a rice cooker. In fact, I thought they were ridiculous, one-use appliances that just took up space in the cupboard. However, since I moved to Canada, I have only ever cooked rice in a rice cooker. Neil swears by his billion year old rice cooker and I just kind of went along with it. Until now. When Dorie calls for cooking rice the old fashioned way, in a saucepan. I do admit to toying with the idea of making this in the rice cooker but I couldn’t figure out how to make it in JUST the rice cooker, since there were onions needing to be cooked as well.. So I followed the recipe (gasp! though with Dorie’s stuff I tend to be faithful!) and it was perfect. Fluffy, not soggy, not undercooked.
And isn’t it beautiful?
I added a little extra lemon zest for flavour and colour when I served it on its own. I also served it with roasted vegetables and a steak and vegetable dinner. I was very happy with this and will definitely use this method again when I want to make a flavoured rice. Thanks, Dorie!
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