Cheat´s Pilaf

So, here we are. Posting! Wow. Something that reminds me of my former life, before Groundhog Baby Day hit me in the back on the neck.
Actually, to tell you the absolute truth, my life isn´t all that incredibly changed in the tiny details. The Big Picture, yes. But the details? Not so much. I wasn´t glamorous, or thin, or constantly hopping on planes. I didn´t go in for dodgy stuff like contact sports, designer drugs, or investment banking. Mostly I used to be home, drawing or reading or cooking or hanging out with like-minded friends or family. And now I have a baby? I read, and draw and cook and hang out, only I do it at odd intervals, punctuated by attending to said baby.

Not that I´m adventurous in my cooking. It´s back to basics at the old home kitchen. Stuff I could do in my sleep. I might be reading, and busily flagging, recipes for Afghan Snowshoe Bread, Three-layered walnut torte with whipped cream, and Truck-stop cinnamon rolls, but what I´m doing is very simple stuff. And most of it seems to be rice.

What follows is a recipe I´m very proud of. I call it Pilaf Fullero, or Cheat´s Pilaf, and it´s very very good and totally easy, provided you have a rice cooker, and a bag of those nifty fried onions to be found in Ikea.
Now, don´t let me hear groans of "do you really need a rice cooker?", because yes, you really do. I daresay in a broader, cosmic sense you don´t, just like you don´t need a remote for the Tv. But life being as it is, I don´t understand why anyone voluntarily chooses to suffer rice anxiety, when it can be avoided for 40€.

Pilaf Fullero
being a very good-looking spicy, nutty, herby, elegant rice that can be served to the snootiest guests with pride.

First, take a skillet or big frying pan and drizzle some olive oil into it. When it´s hot, add a teaspoonful of cumin seeds (non-negotiable) and whatever else you like; allspice berries, a cinammon stick, mustard seeds, fresh ginger or garlic even.
When they´re fragrant, add 500 gr. long-grain rice. I don´t soak it, but be my guest.
Toss it until it soaks all the oil. Put it in the rice cooker with 610 ml. water and a pinch of salt. Turn it on.
Now, usually when I do this I´m in the kitchen doing something else, like chickpeas and spinach, so I´m on hand when it goes into "warm" mode.
This is the time to open the thing, fluff up the rice, and add a half cup of raisins. But if you´re not around, just leave it and remember to soak the raisins beforehand. Close, and let steam until you´re ready to serve the rice. This, as happy owners of rice cookers know and love, can be a few hours.
When you´re ready, add a good handful of chopped parsely, about half a cup, a generous cupful of the fried onions, and a golf ball of butter, cut in slivers.
Toss until the butter melts.
If you´re in lily-guilding mode, scatter toasted flaked almonds or pinenuts over the thing, and wait for the compliments.

11 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Welcome back! This looks scrumptious, I can't wait to try it!

Pille dijo...

Love the drawing!!! And nope, we're not getting a rice cooker. No space (I've got other kitchen gadgets in mind, you see).
But I hope to try this when next time in Spain :)

lobstersquad dijo...

Hi, WOnder Woman, Pille, Kickpleat, Julie, Lydia, Thermomixer, Preston and a few others I can´t remember just now.
I accidentally erased the comments. Very spaced out, so sorry, I loved them all.
Viva el rice cooker!! it´s a good gizmo, but of course this will be just as good in a normal pot, if you have the skills.

lobstersquad dijo...

just one thing for the skillet rice people: if you make it that way, adjust the water quantity, because the rice cooker steams the thing so tightly shut that you don´t need so much liquid.

Inne dijo...

A bit late, but congratulations on the baby, Ximena. The recipe sure seems incredibly fast and easy, perfect when you have a a little one who keeps you busy!

Anónimo dijo...

I love espinacas and garbanzos and so rarely get them right; so thank you for the recipe.

On a side note ... your English is impresionante. Incredible. I'm assuming you learnt it growing up.

cheers, clarissa

Anónimo dijo...

This has to be the best recipe I have had in a long time!!

You rock! (As my kids would say)which is, I believe, a compliment.

ChichaJo dijo...

I stand with you in rice cooker love...over here everyone has them! There is nary a home in Manila without one! :) When my gas ran out the other day I used it to cook practiacally my whole dinner!

Will definitely try this!!!

Sol dijo...

Hey just popped over from the Cottage Smallholding.

Ohhh I like your recipe. I to have a rice cooker. I am not that great at cooking rice. Always with my mind wandering I forget it and it burns. I will have to try this recipe! Thanks

Esti dijo...

gracias por pasarte por mi blog. me encanta tener nuevos vistantes comentando...
siento no poder de cir mucho aquí, ya que el tema cocina y yo estamos un poquito peleados, ja, ja..., pero sí diré que me gusta como ilustras tus posts.

Clementina dijo...

Querida Ximena,
Siento que te conozco, aunque se que no es asi. I absolutely adore your blog, illustrations, especially your prose. It makes me want to eat todo lo que me pones enfrente. Saludos!