Everybody like a good rice pilav. Pilav just means cooked rice, but the Turkish way of making it is particularly tasty, so that's probably why the name stuck. The simplest pilav is made with butter, rice and vermicelli. It's Rice-a-roni on steriods.
What you'll need:
1 cup of rice
2 cups of boiling water
salt to taste
1/4 cup of vermicelli
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
I always rinse the rice three times under cold water. Then I set some water to boil in my electric kettle. In the meantime, I melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan and toss in the vermicelli. I stir that around until it's golden. Then I add the rice and make sure all of it is covered with butter and the vermicelli is mixed in. Salt to taste now...I don't have a scientific method for this. I just know what I like.
Add two cups of water. Then next step is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Cover, reduce to the lowest possible setting, and walk away. For about 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid every five seconds to see if it's ready. At about 12 minutes, I'll look at the pot and see if it's sending me a signal...like steam, meaning it's still cooking, or black smoke, in which case my flame was way to high. Usually almost all of the water is evaporated and I give it a quick stir. Turn off the heat and set the table. Serve with anything you like.
Variations I like:
- Toasted pine nuts are a splurge that I like to add, if I have them. I toss them with some more melted butter in a pan and then either mix them in at the last minute, or use them as a topping. You can also use almonds for this.
- Add saffron to the boiling water and let that sit for a minute before adding it to the rice for cooking.
- Currants, pine nuts and saffon together are a showstopper.