Monday, April 11, 2011

Spice Is Nice

After complaining about the price (to no one in particular), I finally left Whole Foods with two grass-fed ribeyes. In reality, I *almost* got a steal when you think about how much those two lovely pieces of meat would have cost had I ordered them in one of Atlanta's nice chop houses. I don't usually order ribeyes because I like my meat leaner. However, grass fed meat is going to be leaner naturally so by getting a cut that usually has some marbling, you end up with a damn tasty steak! Though, I can't take credit for that part of our meal, my husband is the grill master around here. I promise they tasted better than the picture!

With the steaks, I served an interesting pilaf which is the recipe that I'm sharing. Also, I opened one of my cheaper bottles of Cabernet. I think it was $6.99 at Total Wine.  This wine was pretty good for the price. But I've had bottles that were just under $20 that were better so whether I'd recommend it would really depend on your price point.

Orange Spiced Pilaf with Berries and Nuts

 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 and a half medium onions: 1 onion large slices - half onion diced

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

1 tsp. kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 orange, zest finely grated (1 tsp.) and juiced (about 2-3 Tbs.)

3/8 cup dried tart cherries
or cranberry mix
1 cups jasmine rice

3/8 cup pistachios, pecans, or slivered almonds toasted and roughly chopped 

In a large skillet/saucepan, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally for 21 minutes. Add the three spices and stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook another 5 min., stirring occasionally, to allow the onion to absorb the flavors of the spices and caramelize a bit more. Season with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside.

Pour the orange juice over the berries in a small bowl. If the liquid is not enough to cover them, add water and set aside.

In another large saucepan melt the 1 Tbs. butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and remaining salt and stir well to coat each grain with butter. Toast for a full 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of  the pan. Be careful not to burn the rice.

Add 1-1/2 cups of water, stir once, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the pilaf sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.
Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Strain the berries and discard the orange juice. Using the fork, gently fold in the berries, onions, nuts, and orange zest. Serve warm.


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