Sunday, April 10, 2011

my "easy tea when John's away" recipe ...

I have been cooking this dish for quite a few years ... so easy when I have kids meals to do and my usual kitchen companion is away ;-) or it's the weekend and easy meals are the go sometimes!

The best bit is no working out / halving / quartering ingredients as the recipe is for 1!!

Cut and pasted ...

Preparation Time

5 minutes

Cooking Time

25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 tsp butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small leek, washed, thinly sliced
  • 100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 160mls (2/3 cup) chicken stock
  • 65g (1/3 cup) Basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or pinch dried thyme
  • 2 tbs finely grated Parmesan


  1. Heat the butter or margarine and olive oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add stock, rice, bay leaf and thyme and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer, without lifting lid until towards the end of cooking time, for 12 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serve sprinkled with the Parmesan.


  • Cooked pilaf can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in an ovenproof dish in a 160°G oven for 10 minutes or in the microwave.
  • Microwave tip: Place butter or margarine, olive oil and leek in a microwave-safe rice cooker or a medium heat-resistant microwave- safe bowl. Cook, for 2-3 minutes on High/850watts/100% or until leek is soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes on High/ 850watts/100%. Add stock, rice, bay leaf and thyme, stirring well to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or a double layer of plastic wrap and cook for 3 minutes on High/850watts/100%. Cook for a further 8 minutes on Medium/ 500watts/50% or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Allow the pilaf to stand, covered, for 2-3 minutes before removing the lid or wrap.
  • Variations: Pilaf with pine nuts: Cook 1 tbs pine nuts in the butter or margarine and olive oil until golden brown cooking the leek.
  • Italian-style pilaf: Cook 40g thinly sliced prosciutto cut into thin strips with the leek. Stir 1-2 tsp (or to taste) bottled pesto sauce through the cooked pilaf just before serving.
  • Garlic & mushroom pilaf: Add 1 small crushed garlic clove with the leek and 1 tbs of dry white wine with the chicken stock.
  • Middle Eastern pilaf: Substitute a pinch of cumin seeds and 1 crushed cardamom pod for the thyme. Serve topped with 1 tbs toasted slivered almonds instead of Parmesan

    I mix the variations into my version ...
    So when I make it ... I use prosciutto, pesto, white wine, pine nuts & garlic ...  easy and yummy!!
    The other funny thing is I have had the magazine for a number of year and I couldn't find it tonight so onto Taste and search for pilaf and found it!!
    Oh and I have never cooked this when John is home LOL!!
    Maybe one day ...

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