Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf

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What is your go-to side dish?  You know, the one that when you can’t think of anything else, it’s what your turn to.  Mine is rice.  I love rice.  A pristine mountain of steamed white rice is a thing of beauty. Perhaps I love rice so much because I love my rice cooker so much.  Or perhaps I love my rice cooker so much because I love rice so much.  It’s the whole chicken and the egg thing. 

When it comes to rice cookers, I admit, Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 10-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, Premium Whiteis the Cadillac.   Of course, now they even make them with induction cooking.  What I love about having a rice cooker is that it frees up the stove.  I don’t need a pot or a burner.  And for the most part, I don’t need to think.  I toss everything in there, turn it on and forget it.  It automatically switches to warm.  This one also has a porridge setting, which makes the best overnight oatmeal ever.  And if you have one of these, you simply must also have The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker

Well, now that I’ve gone on and on about rice cookers, let’s get back to my Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf, shall we.  If rice is my go-to side dish, this is my go-to rice.  It goes with everything.  Surprisingly enough, it actually came from

Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time")

Rick (and I feel like I can call him Rick), even gives instructions for doing this recipe in a rice cooker.  That’s the other beauty of the rice cooker, you can use just about any rice recipe in the cooker (though sometimes you have to play with the amounts of the liquid).  Whenever a recipe calls for sautéing the rice or aromatics first, I simply turn on my rice cooker and sauté it in there, then add the rest of the ingredients, close the lid and off it goes.  Since some of you might not have rice cookers (shock!), I’m going to post his original directions.

Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf

  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 small white onion, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • salt
  • 3 T. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Turn on the oven to 350 and position a rack in the middle.  Set a medium (3-quart) ovenproof saucepan over medium heat).  Add the toil, rice and onion.  Stir frequently until the grains of rice turn from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute a few seconds until fragrant, then add the chicken broth, 1 t. salt).  Stir and then let it come to a full boil.

Cover and place in the oven.  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6-8

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  1. says

    We have a rice cooker (it’s one of my roommate’s) but i still haven’t quite figured out how to use it properly. You’ve inspired me to learn.

    Rick Bayless is the best. I love everything he makes. And would like to be on a first name basis with him as well.

  2. says

    Never have owned a rice cooker, but your dish is certainly tempting me to get one! Simple and flavorful.
    My favorite rice dish is baked in the oven with almonds and beef broth. Found the recipe years ago in a set of cookbooks called Make It Now, Bake It Later. Some real gems in there.

  3. says

    Well, 4 billion people certainly can’t be wrong!

    I love rice, too. My rice cooker is used several times a week and the only appliance (other than the coffee pot) that has a permanent home on the counter top.

  4. says

    We eat a ton of rice in my household, specially basmati rice. No rice cooker though. :-( Coincidentally, I just checked out one of Rick’s cookbooks from the library yesterday! :-) I wish he still had his cooking show.

  5. says

    I have the Zorushi NS-LAC05, bought by the resident engineer who only buys the best. I love it, and it does get a permanent home on my counter top. I have the rice cookbook you mentioned as well, with which I was less enamored. Oatmeal for breakfast does sound like a good idea.

  6. says

    I have to admit that I’ve never thought of buying a rice cooker, but if it does most the work and frees up the stove then I’m all for it. I think my “side dish go to” is probably baked potatoes or buttered noodles. (carbs all the way, of course).

  7. says

    I love my rice cooker too. I don’t have the Cadillac though!
    It is the only way to get perfect brown rice and I love how patiently rice will wait in it for slow me to get dinner finished.
    I love Rick too – I really need to cook more of his stuff. Someone should start a Bayless group! (of course Latin ingredients are hard to find here..)

  8. says

    Hi Pam, My hubby loves rice –but I prefer tators… ha…. Because he loves stir fry and because we have it alot, we end up with rice more than potatoes most of the time.

    Have a great weekend.

  9. says

    I just love white rice. Fluffy, plain white rice is wonderful. I also like it with flavorings…rice is what I want for starch with dinner. Yours looks great!

  10. says

    Pam, I agree (only my rice cooker is bottom of the line and has been used almost to death.) I think it may be time to go shopping, thanks for the recommendations (book, too.) 😀

    That rice pilaf looks delish… adding it to my ever growing “Pam’s recipe folder”.

    Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

  11. says

    I had a Black & Decker rice cooker that was a piece of junk. It browned all the rice on the bottom….I gave it away. I’m going to start comparing prices to buy this brand. Thanks for the advice!

  12. says

    For that much money, I’ll keep going stove top :)

    I have a regular steamer but only use it with veggies for the most part although I do have a basket I could use for rice. Might have to try it.

  13. says

    Finally a recommendation for a good rice cooker. I have gone through 4 Salton. The company keeps sending a new one. I will have to try this one.
    Wonderful recipe, I never thought of sauteing right in the rice cooker.
    Thanks for sharing,

  14. says

    This looks really good, and no, I couldn’t live without my rice cooker either. So to make it in the cooker you just do the sauteeing first, and then dump everything in the cooker?

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