A few years ago, I had a culinary breakthrough in the car on the way home from work. It was perhaps the first time I've ever come up with a recipe by really thinking about which complementary ingredients would go well together. I immediately stopped by the grocery store, came home and proceeded to make the recipe in this post. It became such a staple that my roommate and I started calling it "the rice" (fear not, we also had "the salad" and "the pasta"...speaking of which, I should post those too).
I think the best thing I can say about this recipe is that I enjoy it so much that I've never felt the need to modify the recipe (unlike most other recipes) and I've made it over an over. I hope you enjoy as much as I do. It's a great side dish for chicken or pork, or even with a seafood dish.
Saffron Rice with Almonds (Also known here as "the rice")
2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups chicken stock (I like actual stock, like Kitchen Basics brand)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp saffron
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
Once all vegetables have been chopped, melt butter and olive oil in a saucier or saucepan with a lid. Add vegetables, salt, white pepper and saffron, and saute until vegetables are sauce and juice has come out to join with the butter and oil. Add the dry rice to the pan and stir around, toasting slightly, for about a minute. Add the chicken stock, stir, bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to low or medium low (depending on the heat of your stove) and cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed.
While the rice is boiling, toast the slivered almonds in a 300 degree oven for 7-10 minutes (until you can smell them, and they are browned, but not too dark).
Remove the rice from the heat, stir in almonds and parmesan cheese and serve.