I grew up on Rice Pilaf it wasn’t rice-a-roni, we were lucky enough to live down the street from the original Near East rice factory in good old Leominster, Massachusetts. As I moved away to different states, my mother would always have several boxes in tow when visiting. It was always 2/$1.00 at Market Basket grocery store and whatever grocery store I shopped at in my fancy towns was surely overpriced. So in turn, I continued the tradition of having it with most meals that included some type of gravy at my home.
Now that I’m old and can’t handle all of the sodium in boxed rice, that I never really knew was there when young and stupid! I have created a homemade, less sodium, still tasty alternative. Enjoy! and viva Leominster!!!
1/4 cup butter and 2 tbsp oil
2 cups uncooked Basmatti Rice
1/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta (I use whole grain, nobody will every know)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (use full fat and sodium, if not add 1 tbsp of salt to final product)
2 cups water
In a large skillet with a lid, melt the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the rice and orzo.
Saute until rice the becomes opaque and the orzo starts to brown lightly.
Stir in the spices.
Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a slight boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Cook for 20 minutes, covered, until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and serve.