This side dish is a great compliment to my Garlic Lime Grilled Pork Tenderloin.
The pilaf method of cooking rice begins on the stovetop and finishes in the oven. However there may be times when this is not practical: you have the oven heated higher than a safe temperature for the rice, you aren’t using the oven for any other reason and don’t want the extra heat in the house, or you simply just don’t have time for that. (I include the directions for a traditional pilaf at the end of the recipe and do suggest trying it sometime as the rice ends up just a bit firmer and not as sticky.)
You will need to use a saucepan that can safely go from stovetop to oven. Also, be sure to keep a close eye on the pilaf if you are putting it in the oven because it can quickly burn.
Lime Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cups long grain white rice
3 ¾ cups vegetable or chicken stock
Grated zest from one lime
Juice from one lime
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
(Preheat oven to 350°F if using the oven method.)
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add rice and stir to coat. Add stock, lime juice and lime peel. Bring to a boil. (See oven method below if you choose.) Reduce to a simmer, stir, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cilantro.
After the rice comes to a boil in the above steps, thoroughly wet a clean kitchen towel, remove saucepan from heat, and then place the towel across the top of the pan. Fit the pan with a lid and then fold the towel corners up over the lid. Then, transfer the saucepan, towel and all, to the oven and bake 15 minutes. Remove and rest at room temperature for 15 more minutes without opening the lid.
Finally, stir in cilantro and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cilantro.