We all have to learn how to follow some directions/rules for cooking and this was an excellent way, for a girl of 11 years, now responsible for making family dinner nightly, to learn.
I do not dislike the boxed stuff. Turning my nose up at it when I walk by it in the aisle at the store isn’t something I do. But making it myself is not something I still do because of the list of incomprehensible ingredients it includes.
But when I do come face to face with it, I will eat it with a sly smile, because secretly, I still enjoy it. (Guess that secret is out now.)
Mom2 made a more homemade version of this boxed dish. She browned her rice with broken spaghetti. Then added a packet of dried onion soup mix and set the rice on to cook. Delicious.
I am a huge, HUGE fan of that dried onion soup mix. I grew up eating it as dip with chips. Still make it. It flavored the rice just perfectly. For years I made it this way.
When I had my weight-loss surgery, I cut out carbs on an intense level. But I have a lot of dinner parties or simply have people over for dinner who need and want carbs. I think out of 7 days, I will make a carb side dish probably 5 times. I just watch my portions.
For one dinner party, my meal really needed this rice pilaf, but I did not want to use the packet of dried onion soup mix. Replacing it by adding my own fresher ingredients was something I knew I could do.
I used beef broth, herbs, and finely diced onions and mushrooms to make my Rice Pilaf. Winner!
Rice Pilaf in the Rice Cooker
For the past 5 years, I have now omitted the packet and used my own pantry staples to cook this Rice Pilaf dish. My one confession…I use a rice cooker. I have had one for years, and I love the set it and go easy aspect.
However, if you do not have a rice cooker, just make this dish following the directions on your package, after doing the preliminary cooking.
You will want the total volume of fluid added to be equal to four cups. Typically broth cans are about 14.5 oz. So if you are using 2 cans of 14.5 oz, (totaling 29 oz) you will want to add an additional 3 oz of water to get the total up to 32 oz.
What Main Course Dishes Pair Well with Rice Pilaf
- Mushroom Tarragon Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Grilled Cuban Pork Chops
- Steak Picado
- Pork Chops with Glazed Apples and Vegetables
- Mediterranean Chicken
- Balsamic Glazed Pot Roast
- Orange Honey Hoisin Short Ribs
Rice Pilaf ~ This homemade classic rice and pasta side dish is far more flavorful and delicious than anything you can get from a box.
- Olive oil
- 2 cups of white long grain rice
- 3/4 cup broken spaghetti/angel hair pasta
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 2 cans of low sodium beef broth
- Water to equal 4 cups of liquid with the broth ; this will depend on volume in the broth can
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp black pepper; to taste
- 1/4 tsp salt; to taste
In a large heated skillet on medium high heat, add some olive oil.
Add the rice and pasta, stir constantly.
Do not let it burn.
Stir for about a minute then add garlic, onions, and mushrooms.
Continue to cook for about another minute.
Add contents of sauté pan to rice cooker, add broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme, mix well.
Close lid, start the cooking process.
When the cooking process is complete, open the lid and stir, often time the herbs will have risen to the top.
Discard the bay leaf and serve.
Make sure the pan you brown the rice and pasta in has a lid that will fit securely on.
Brown the rice and pasta as described above.
Lower heat to medium, add broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and thyme. Mix well.
Cook according to rice package directions, which is usually cover, cook on medium to bring to a boil, about 10 minutes, without lifting the lid reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
At the end of the cooking time, open lid, stir, as the herbs will have settled at risen to the top of the rice, discard the bay leaf, and serve.