"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Foolproof Basmati Rice & Wild Rice and Toasted Almond Pilaf

Having a backlog of about twenty recipes to write about, I figured I'd categorize them by, well, category. So here we have not one but TWO grain recipes, and they couldn't be more different!

Why, I hear you ask?

Cost, time and effort.

It's not that the Wild Rice and Toasted Almond Pilaf is all that complicated. It really isn't (though it is expensive--$12 for 2 cups of wild rice). You saute an onion in oil, then add the rice, stirring until it's fragrant. Then pour in the stock and cook for an hour or more, depending on when the grain starts to splay open.

In the meantime, you've sauteed sliced almonds in butter, salt and pepper, and that gets tossed with the cooked grains.

This isn't my photo, but it's close to the idea.

This recipe makes a lot, and it served as a great in-the-fridge side dish for the rest of the week. If I were going to change one thing about it, I would use sliced almonds rather than slivered--something about the pointy nature of slivered almonds makes the almonds + wild rice a formidable texture experience. Just sayin'.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Foolproof Basmati Rice.

Are you Rice Cooking Impaired? This is the recipe for you. There is absolutely no way you can f--- this recipe up.

Here we go. Put two cups of basmati rice in a microwave safe dish. Add three cups of water. Microwave, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cover, microwave for five more minutes. Let it stand for five minutes, covered, then fluff with a fork.

That's it. I'm serious.

It makes perfect rice.

This is the exact dish for a) somebody having a dinner party who has the burners occupied by other things b) people who HATE IT when they're cooking rice and the rice water boils over and gets all over the stove c)people who've got other things going on. Like maybe, a new baby?

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