I was off Monday for the MLK holiday and had been fighting a sore throat and cough since the weekend. I roasted a turkey breast over the weekend, so I planned to reheat the other half of that and serve it with rice pilaf and salad. The only problem? I didn't have a box of my go-to rice pilaf mix in the cupboard -- and I was much too lazy to change out of my comfy clothes and fight the crowds at the grocery store. Instead, I decided to look around the kitchen and see what inspiration might strike!
What I came up with was a rice pilaf flavored with shallots, bacon, mushrooms, curry powder, and sliced green onions. It was a little smoky, a little spicy...and altogether delicious! The only thing I might do differently next time is add some slivered almonds just before serving for a bit of crunch. We really enjoyed the flavor combination of this pilaf, so I'm very excited to share it with you!
Smoky and Spicy Rice Pilaf
Step 1: Heat a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Chop 3 slices of bacon and add it to the saucepan. Cook until the bacon is browned. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour out all but 1 tbs. of the bacon drippings.
Step 2: Add 1 chopped shallot, a grated clove of garlic, and 1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Add 1 cup converted white rice and stir to combine. Cook the rice until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tsp. curry powder and the reserved bacon.
Stir over med-high heat for another couple of minutes, until the curry powder is fragrant. Add 2 cups broth of your choice; I had cubes of veggie stock on hand, so that's what I used. Bring to a boil. Give the rice a good stir, lower the heat to med-low, and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to let any remaining liquid absorb back into the pilaf. Just before serving, stir in two sliced green onions and 1 tbs. flat-leaf parsley.
This pilaf pairs very well with turkey, but it would also be good with pork chops or grilled shrimp. Although it's a really great side dish, the bacon and mushrooms make it hearty enough for a light main dish; I ate the leftovers for lunch at work the next day. I hope you'll give this pilaf a try and let me know what you think.
Be sure to come back here this weekend for my next giveaway! I'm teaming with Cookwell & Company, a Texas-based company that offers a full line of gourmet food products, to bring you some great recipes and new products to try!! You won't want to miss this giveaway...