Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sweet Potato Rice Pilaf

This time of year, at Cafe Drake HRV, dried cranberries embellish at least 25% of all dishes. We do love our tasty, autumnal antioxidants!

Our Sweet Potato Rice Pilaf with a chopped salad and baked tempeh.

Our Sweet Potato Rice Pilaf is almost substantial enough to serve as a lunch entree, especially if served with a green salad. For dinner, try it alongside steamed veggies and/or stewed black beans. For a one dish meal delivering complete protein, use the the pilaf as a base for thick lentil soup or vegetarian chili.

Begin by heating 2 T. olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry 1/2 cup diced red onion and 2 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped) until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 and 1/3 cups long grain white rice (regular or basmati) along with a large dash of turmeric powder, 1 t. ground cumin and 1/2 t. each salt and black pepper. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, making certain all the grains of rice are coated in the spiced oil. 

Now add to the saucepan 2 diced sweet potatoes - the pieces should be no larger than 1/2 " each. Cook for another minute. Don't worry if the sweet potatoes begin to stick a bit because now you're going to deglaze the pan by pouring in 3 cups vegetable stock. If you don't have veggie stock on hand, use water and increase the spices and salt amounts. Non-vegetarians of course can use chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to very low. Allow to cook, covered, for 15 minutes. All of the liquid should have been absorbed. Let rest, still covered, for 5 minutes and then fluff the rice with a fork. 

You're good to go or, if so inclined, add a handful of dried cranberries and/or chopped cashews, mix again well and serve hot or very warm.

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