I wasn't feeling well last week so Matt did a bang-up job on dinner. This was so delicious we'll be making it again and again. Here's Matt...
Sometimes, inspiration strikes and you end up trying something new with wonderful results. We had a pork tenderloin to marinate and had a bottle of souvlaki marinade. Wanting to keep with a vaguely Greek-style flavours, I took to the Googles and quickly surfed through some recipes for rice pilaf.
I decided to use this recipe as a starting point and made a few little changes:
Rather than just onions, I decided to use a mirepoix (diced onions, carrots and celery) to add a little more flavour as well as a couple extra vegetables to the dish.
I added the mirepoix to the olive oil and butter to soften and brown them, as per the recipe, then poured the mixture over the rice and mixed it all together to get the grains of rice covered with delicious goodness.
The minor change from the recipe was just because a) we happened to have pineapple juice in the fridge, b) in my mind, right of not, rice pilaf should have lemon or some hint of fruit, and c) pineapple is awesome. So, instead of three cups of chicken stock, it ended up more like 2 2/3 cups of chicken stock and 1/3 cup of pineapple juice. (I also doubled up on the cayenne and wasn't stingy with the saffron, but your taste may vary.)
Once it had simmered for five minutes, I poured it over the rice and veggie mixture, covered it in aluminum foil and popped it into the oven.
After 35 minutes at 350 degrees, I took it out and let it stand for 10 minutes. Despite it being my first time cooking rice this way, I suppressed my curiosity to peel back the foil for a peek.
In the end, we were rewarded with perfectly cooked, easy-to-fluff rice that tasted fantastic and was a nice complement for the souvlaki pork, which was the impetus behind the whole dish. Thanks for motivating us to try rice pilaf, souvlaki pork!