Master Grain Pilaf Recipe

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Learn an essential method for creating fluffy grain dishes and master correct ratios for a variety of grains. Pilaf is a simple method of cooking grains in fat so they don’t stick to each other. The end result is a fluffy grain side dish.

I have created a master recipe with several options that you can refer to time and time again to create different flavors. The key ingredients you must use are onion, garlic, butter, grains, broth, salt and pepper. But feel free to experiment with the different types of whole grains, vegetables, seasons and garnishes.

Note that the amount of liquid needed varies with each grain. Refer to the cooking chart for the amount of broth need for one cup of each grain. Check the grain as it gets close to the end of its cooking time to taste for tenderness and to check if more broth is required.Pilaf

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup chopped onions or green onions

Optional additional vegetables: ½ cup sliced mushrooms or chopped red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons butter

1 3/4 cups uncooked grains, either all one kind or a mixture of some that all cook in the same length of time.  See chart for suggestions. I recommend looking at the cooking instructions on the actual package of grains. One of my favorite combinations is brown rice and barley. A brown rice and barley combo works well with this amount of broth.

3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (May vary depending on which grain you are using so see chart)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Optional seasonings:

Bay leaf or Saffron or Strip of orange zest or Cayenne Pepper or 1 tsp Cumin + 1 ½ tsp Chili Powder

Optional garnishes:

1/3 cup of either:

Minced fresh parsley

Pumpkin seeds

Chopped pistachios

Golden Raisins

Dried cranberries or craisins

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large saucepan, sauté onions and garlic (and optional mushrooms or red pepper) in butter until tender.

Stir in the grains. Stir well to coat each grain with some of the fat in the pan. Continue to stir for 5 minutes. This essential step keeps each grain separate.

Stir in the broth, any optional seasonings and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes less than the package instructs. Taste. If grains are tender and broth is absorbed, fluff with a fork and add any optional garnish.

If grain is undercooked and too dry, add 1/4 cup more liquid, simmer three more minutes, then shut off the heat and let the rice steam, still covered, for five to ten minutes.   Yield: 8 servings.

WHOLE GRAINS

 1 cup
of this grain:

Add this much
water or broth:

Bring to a boil,
then simmer for:

Amount
after cooking:

Amaranth

2 cups

15-20 minutes

2 1/2 cups

Barley, hulled

3 cups

45-60 minutes

3 1/2 cups

Buckwheat

2 cups

20 minutes

4 cups

Bulgur

2 cups

10-12 minutes

3 cups

Cornmeal (polenta)

4 cups

25-30 minutes

2 1/2 cups

Farro

2 1/2 cups

25-40 minutes

3 cups

Kamut® grain

4 cups

soak overnight then
cook 45-60 minutes

3 cups

Millet, hulled

2 1/2 cups

25-35 minutes

4 cups

Oats, steel cut

4 cups

30 minutes

3 cups

Pasta, whole wheat

6 cups

8-12 minutes (varies by size)

varies

Quinoa

2 cups

12-15 minutes

3 cups

Rice, brown

2 1/2 cups

25-45 minutes (varies)

3 cups

Rye

4 cups

soak overnight then
cook 45-60 minutes

3 cups

Sorghum

4 cups

25-40 minutes

3 cups

Spelt berries

4 cups

soak overnight then
cook 45-60 minutes

3 cups

Teff

3 cups

20 minutes

2 1/2 cups

Wheat berries

4 cups

soak overnight then
cook 45-60 minutes

2 1/2 cups

Wild rice

3 cups

45-55 minutes

3 1/2 cups

Freekeh, Whole Grain       2 3/4                           20 minutes                          2 cups

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