Has anyone out there ever heard of pilafi? It seems that few, if any, of my friends in Utah valley have ever heard of it. I had to start talking to friends in Salt Lake about it, because most of them have not only heard of it, but indeed, even enjoyed it with me at many of the fine Greek restaurants in Salt Lake. There seems to be very few of those in Orem. Anyway, pilafi is a Greek rice pilaf. I've always wondered how it was made. It's kind of lemony and chickeny, and usually a pretty decent shade of yellow. We always assumed the color was from saffron. So the whole rice bit had me thinking about it yesterday, and I decided to look up some recipes.
Has ANYONE out there EVER heard of pilafi? Okay, so I found a few scattered recipes online. Most of them didn't look like they would create the same dish that I was looking for. In fact, only one did. Oddly, it was just about the only one that didn't include paprika. The thought occurred to me that perhaps the color was from the paprika, instead of the saffron. So I began to create my own version.
Start with our standard cup of rice, browned in a wee bit of Greek olive oil, and maybe a wee bit of butter too. When its' browned, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Add 2 cups chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover, drop to low, let sit 20 minute, remove from heat, let sit 10 minutes. Wasn't that easy?
Well, it might have ended up a little too lemony, and not really chickeny enough. It also seemed a little bit bland. The commercial stock I use has salt, but not very much, so I'm thinking I might need to add a little more. In fact, I may try starting with closer to 2 1/3 to 3 cups of stock, reduce to 2 cups, and then add that. That would increase both the salt and the chicken content. Also, there was no color from the paprika. None! It was a pale shade of off-white. Maybe it's time to try out the saffron, or maybe just turmeric or something. Other than that, it was actually pretty good stuff.
If anyone out there happens to have a decent pilafi recipe, I wouldn't mind taking a look at it. I love the stuff, and would love to not have to drive to Salt Lake every time I want it.
Oh, right. Photo.