Home RECIPESChristmas Special Cranberries, pecans and almonds rice pilaf

Cranberries, pecans and almonds rice pilaf

by Lorena

Difficulty 1/5

Welcome to my first Christmas Special 2016 post! I LOVE Christmas; when December arriver and I star seeing decorated houses, shops, christmas fairs and all that, I have a tingly sensation in my stomach from excitement (although now we get decorations starting in May! LOL). The first recipe I’m going to share with you is this delicious rice pilaf with almonds, pecans and cranberries. It also has orange zest that gives it an extra special flavour. The difference between a normal rice and a pilaf is that it’s cooked in stock rather than just water, making the rice absorb all this extra flavour.

Portions: 8 servings

For the vegetable stock:
– 100g carrots
– 100g white onion
– 100g celery
– 1 bayleaf
– pinch of salt

For the rice:
– 20ml olive oil
– 100g white onion
– Zest from 2 oranges
– 1 garlic clove
– 1 bayleaf
– 400g rice (it can be brown or white, I used brown)
– 170g pecans
– 170g almonds
– salt and pepper to taste
– 100g dried cranberries

1. We make a simple vegetable stock: cut the vegetables in a medium size and put them in about 3Lt cold water with the bayleaf and a tiny pinch of salt. Let it come to a boil and leave it boiling for 30min. Then you pass it through a sieve and we have our stock ready. If you have leftovers (which is likely), you can put it to boil (without the vegetables now) in a pot until it reduces to nearly nothing and save it for soups, minding that you have to dilute it first.
2. Cut the onion quite small and grate the orange skin with a microplane or fine grater without getting to the white part. We cook this in olive oil and with the bayleaf on low heat until the onion is very translucent; this way it goes nice and mild. We also add the salt that’s going to be for the whole dish, so think around 1 tbsp, and pepper to taste. Then add the garlic clove (finely grated or minced) and cook it for a minute.img_3053
img_30543. Wash well the rice in a sieve under running, cold water (with this we remove the excess starch, making sure it doesn’t go all sticky and gooey) and we add it to the pot. We cook it while stirring until the washing water has evaporated and we fry it for a couple minutes in the oil left in the onions. Then cover with the stock + 2 fingers up. Put the heat on medium intensity until it starts to boil. At that point we lower the heat to minimum with the lid on until all the stock has evaporated and the rice should be completely cooked. If for any reason it hasn’t cooked completely, add a bit of water at a time with the lid on still and let the vapour finish it off. img_30554. While the rice cooks, toast the pecans and almonds in the oven at 140C for 10min and cut them in medium-sized chunks. The idea is that you get a nice bite out of them, but not so bit that out get a whole almond in a bite. Save some whole to decorate.img_3069_15. Finally we add the pecans, almonds and dried cranberries to the finished rice and voilá, we have a nice Christmas rice as a side for our dinner 🙂


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