I tend to buy a lot of rice. Seriously, I think there were either 6 or 7 types of rice in our fridge and pantry a couple weeks ago. My problem is that after I buy it, I tend to only prepare it in really boring ways. I will see recipes for rice pilaf or mix-ins, but usually I dismiss it for extra ingredients or too much hassle for a week day meal.
That's why I'm loving my Cookbook Challenge, because it's forcing me to try recipes that I might otherwise neglect. This recipe only had one "extra" ingredient-- saffron. Lucky for me, there is a Trader Joe's near my house and they sell saffron for $4.99. I don't know that it's the best quality saffron, but it does the trick and is a steal at that price! The rest of the ingredients were things I had on hand, and half the recipe easily served 4. It was still tasty the next day, reheated with leftovers. This was a great way to dress up the rice a little, and I am sure I'll make this recipe again.
Tomato Rice Pilaf, by Ina Garten from Barefoot in Paris
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
2 cups white basmati rice
kosher or sea salt
4 cups chicken stock, heated
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbsp chopped garlic (3 cloves)
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes, drained and large diced
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small dutch oven or large saucepan, add the onions, and cook over low heat fro 10 minutes, or until translucent but not brown. Stir in the rice and 2 tsp of salt and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the hot stock and the saffron and cook, covered, over the lowest heat for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat the remaining oil, add the garlic, and cook over low heat for 30 seconds. Add the drainned diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. When the rice is done, add the tomato mixture, 3/4 tsp salt, the pepper, parsley, and Parmesan. Stir with a fork, season to taste, and serve hot.
Serves 6 to 8