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RECIPES FOR ROSH HASHANAH

Recipe: Rice pilaf with raisins, apricots, and almonds is perfect with roast chicken for Rosh Hashanah

Rice Pilaf with Raisins, Apricots, and Almonds.
Rice Pilaf with Raisins, Apricots, and Almonds.Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

Accompany a big plump roast chicken on the Rosh Hashanah table with basmati rice cooked with sauteed onion, whole dried apricots, raisins, and orange rind. Stir in roasted unsalted almonds at the end. In the many cultures where rice is the dominant grain, there are endless pointers for cooking rice. Here are a few: To elongate the grains, which makes them quite elegant, soak the rice in water for an hour before cooking. Use less water than is typically called for (usually you see a ratio of 2:1 water to rice, but ignore that). When the rice is done, let it sit in the covered pot with a paper towel (or cloth) under the lid to absorb excess moisture and give the grains a perfect texture. The pilaf is made with water only, but the onions, fruits, nuts, and citrus rind make a lively, delicious pot of rice.

1cup basmati or other long-grain white rice
2tablespoons vegetable oil
1medium onion, finely chopped
cups water
½teaspoon salt
5 dried apricots (leave whole)
½cup raisins (dark or golden) or currants
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
½cup roasted unsalted almonds (leave whole)
Few extra roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped (for garnish)
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a bowl, combine the rice with water to cover. Soak the rice for 1 hour. Drain it into a fine mesh strainer and swish the rice with your hand in the strainer under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Set aside.

2. In a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

3. Add the rice, water, salt, apricots, raisins or currants, and orange rind. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover the pan to see if the rice has absorbed all the water and taste it to see if the grains are tender. If there is only 1 or 2 tablespoons water in the bottom of the pan and the rice is tender, turn off the heat. If the grains are not tender, keep cooking, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the grains are tender.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the top of the pan with a double thickness of paper towel (or cloth) and set the lid on the pan. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes.

5. Stir the almonds into the rice with all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the chopped almonds and remaining parsley.

Sheryl Julian

Serves 4

Accompany a big plump roast chicken on the Rosh Hashanah table with basmati rice cooked with sauteed onion, whole dried apricots, raisins, and orange rind. Stir in roasted unsalted almonds at the end. In the many cultures where rice is the dominant grain, there are endless pointers for cooking rice. Here are a few: To elongate the grains, which makes them quite elegant, soak the rice in water for an hour before cooking. Use less water than is typically called for (usually you see a ratio of 2:1 water to rice, but ignore that). When the rice is done, let it sit in the covered pot with a paper towel (or cloth) under the lid to absorb excess moisture and give the grains a perfect texture. The pilaf is made with water only, but the onions, fruits, nuts, and citrus rind make a lively, delicious pot of rice.

1cup basmati or other long-grain white rice
2tablespoons vegetable oil
1medium onion, finely chopped
cups water
½teaspoon salt
5 dried apricots (leave whole)
½cup raisins (dark or golden) or currants
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
½cup roasted unsalted almonds (leave whole)
Few extra roasted unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped (for garnish)
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a bowl, combine the rice with water to cover. Soak the rice for 1 hour. Drain it into a fine mesh strainer and swish the rice with your hand in the strainer under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Set aside.

2. In a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

3. Add the rice, water, salt, apricots, raisins or currants, and orange rind. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover the pan to see if the rice has absorbed all the water and taste it to see if the grains are tender. If there is only 1 or 2 tablespoons water in the bottom of the pan and the rice is tender, turn off the heat. If the grains are not tender, keep cooking, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the grains are tender.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the top of the pan with a double thickness of paper towel (or cloth) and set the lid on the pan. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes.

5. Stir the almonds into the rice with all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the chopped almonds and remaining parsley.Sheryl Julian


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.