Toasted Rice, Almond and Cranberry Pilaf
Buttery toasted almonds and tart dried cranberries combine to give this simple rice dish intense flavor. Basmati rice is a fragrant long-grain rice from India, with a delicate nutty flavor. Many supermarkets now carry it in Gourmet sections. Texamati is an American grown basmati rice. Experiment with other flavors such as curry powder, cardamom, herbs, or garlic and create your own signature dish.
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup chopped, sliced, or slivered almonds
1 cup long-grain or Basmati rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins ®)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until they are golden brown. (Be careful not to let them burn.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds to a dish, and reserve.
Add the rice to the butter remaining in the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the water, salt and pepper, and bring mixture to a
boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Quickly pour the cranberries on top of the rice, immediately cover and cook another 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff the mixture with a fork.
From Leslie Glover Pendleton