When thinking about foods that remind me of my Grandma Klein there are a few that come to mind including: chiffon cake, potato salad, tamale pie, toast with butter, and rice pilaf. Grandma was a great cook back in the days when we would assemble regularly around her dining room table on Dixon street. What may have lacked in presentation was more than made up for in quality, taste and all around comfort of the meals she prepared. I have good and cozy memories of those family dinners with her and Grandpa.
One of her stand-by recipes that I've made often is rice pilaf. I have yet to make a rice dish that comes out so consistently delicious every time and receives raves and second helpings like this one. I think the secret is the butter, chicken broth and thyme. You can dress this dish up with parsley, almonds, mushrooms or whatever add-ins you think would compliment. However, just like Grandma, this dish stands alone without those fussy adornments. Simply delicious!
Rice Pilaf - serves 8
1 cup margarine or butter (you can cut this a bit and it's still good - but of course better with ALL the butter!)
2 cans chicken broth
2 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
optional: 1/2 cup parsley, almonds, or mushrooms
In large sauce pan or kettle melt butter. Add onion, celery and rice. Saute until onion and celery soften a little - about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, thyme, salt, pepper, etc. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down as low as it will go. Put lid on pan and steam for 25 minutes or until done.