Jumped-Up Pilaf of a Sort


This is something that is extremely quick, easy, and tasty. This is quite good when you are just out of steam, as it were. This will serve two. Do the math for your lot.

76 g chopped onion (about 1 small)
38 g chopped celery (about 1/2 as much as onion)
38 g chopped carrot (about 1/2 as much as onion)
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup rice of choice
6 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut bite size
scallops (equal to shrimp), cut bite size
olive oil

Lube a medium skillet or heavy pan with olive oil, butter, or both. Sauté the mirepoix or trinity – the onion, celery, and carrot over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or so until the onion is translucent. The combo of 2 parts onion, 1 part celery, 1 part carrot has been revered by cooks the world over for centuries. When finished set aside.

You can use any rice you please. Long grain will give you more of a French pilaf sort of thing. Short grain will give you more an Italian risotto. You may need to diddle the chicken broth/rice proportions for your particular rice. This works great for the long grain rice that I usually use. Begin heating the chicken broth while you re-lube your pan and pour in the rice. You want enough butter to coat the rice without being excessively wet. Cook the rice over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. The rice will turn translucent and back to a brighter white, but don’t worry about that. When you have cooked for between 2 and 4 minutes it will be fine.

{{Herself Sez: If you use a multi-rice mix (like Texmati or Lundberg Farms rice blends) you will have a more Middle-Eastern flavor. Cooking times and methods vary, so read the packages carefully. Himself doesn’t like these very much, but I happen to like these very much!}}

As the chicken broth comes to a boil add in the mirepoix, rice, and seafood. Be careful, if things have timed correctly the rice will be hot enough to kick the boil into high, so make sure your pot is big enough to handle a sudden doubling of liquid volume. Cook the rice, covered, for 20 minutes at a simmer. Your rice may vary a bit in time. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Serve. Enjoy.

You do know to use raw shrimp and scallops? Do not use the pre-cooked stuff. Fresh is best, but frozen raw is fine. We get shrimp raw and deveined in re-sealable bags. Still have to peel them, but that that is no big deal. I didn’t specify any number of scallops because that will depend on the size of the things. Sometime all that is available are about dime-sized in diameter, sometime they are more like half-dollars. So, just match the volume or weight of the shrimp. If they are big then chop them into bite-sized pieces.

You might also try this with chunks of ham instead of seafood. I would use smoked of sweet-cured ham. I would not use salt-cured ham.


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