California Rice Pilaf
This wonderful rice pilaf has a refreshing flavor thanks to freshly squeezed orange juice , orange zest and cilantro. It's a wonderful side dish!
Earlier in the day, if possible, combine the next 6 ingredients in a small bowl and store it in the fridge until you're ready to use it. It's preferable to prepare this mixture in advance because it allows the raisins to plump up a bit. Once the rice is cooked and hot, you'll fold in this mixture along with some chopped nuts of your choice. I usually mix in pecans.
1/3 c orange juice
2 T grated orange peel
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c golden raisins
a few grinds each of salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
The next step is to get the rice cooking. Prior to adding 1 c of basmati rice, a pinch of salt and 2 c of water to my rice cooker, I employ the Japanese method of 'massaging' the rice - it helps to remove excess starch prior to cooking. Essentially, you will pour the 1 c of rice into a bowl, add enough water to cover the rice and literally massage the rice by running it through your fingers. Rinse and repeat a few times until the water is noticeably more clear.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in a ½ c chopped pecans and the cilantro, raisin juice mixture.
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