Confession: I’m a pot peeker. At least, I used to be.
For many years, my pilaf-making was hampered by my natural curiosity as well as my determination never to leave well enough alone. I couldn’t resist lifting the pot lid and stirring things up.
The result was rarely good. My pilaf was either soggy or crunchy — or both.
I don’t have to guess that a professional cook would have been appalled, because I know she was: Robyn advised me early and often to keep my hands in my pockets while the pilaf was simmering. In pilaf as in many things, I learned slowly.
But I did learn — and we’re both glad I did! It’s a simple thing, really, but it works. My pilaf is now consistent, not to mention highly digestible.
Here’s my simple method for making bulgur pilaf. The same technique and proportions apply to rice, except you have to cook it longer.(Follow directions that come with your rice of choice.) The result is never sticky, greasy or wet.
Of course, if you like your pilaf sticky, greasy or wet, adjust accordingly!
The Perfect Pilaf
- 1 cup medium (#2) bulgur (or rice)
- 2 cups broth or water
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or two pats of butter)
- 1 handfull pilaf noodles (or vermicelli, orzo or your noodle of choice)
- salt and pepper to taste (ex: Aleppo red pepper)
- Pour oil into saucepan and turn up the heat to medium-high.
- Add the noodles and stir. Stay close and keep stirring until the noodles start to turn brown.
- Add the bulgur and stir thoroughly. This is what makes it pilaf: coating the grains.
- Toast the mixture like this for a minute or two, then slowly pour in the broth. Be careful to stand back, or take the pot off the heat to avoid a steam bath.
- Add salt and pepper, stir once and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium, put the lid tightly on the pot. Let it all simmer for five minutes.
- Then turn off the heat but leave the lid in place. Let the pilaf sit 10 minutes longer.
- NOW you can take the lid off. You should find perfectly cooked bulgur pilaf that's moist but shows no excess water.Fluff it with a fork and serve hot!