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Family Table

Rice pilaf

February 25, 2009

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Serves 6

Several Middle Eastern cultures mix orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and white rice, a tradition that goes back to a time when wheat was less expensive than rice. Typically you're instructed to toast the orzo first in butter, as it is here; it gives the finished pilaf little flecks of brown.

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup orzo
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Soak rice in warm water for 30 minutes; drain and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the orzo and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is brown.

3. Add the rice, bay leaves, stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and simmer over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the stock.

4. Fluff rice and discard the bay leaves.

Kaitlyn Siner