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This rice side dish, once only known to the Middle East is now in almost every respected American restaurant. It is the perfect side for any entrée, either meat, fish or fowl.
With this recipe, every grain of rice will be seperate and not gummy.

The secret to the results of this rice dish is not to peek in the pot and let out the steam while cooking!

•  1 cup Basmati long grain rice
•  1/2 cup vermicelli crumbled into 1 inch long pieces
•  1/2 cube salted butter
•  2 cups chicken broth
•  1 teaspoon salt
•  1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Add vermicelli and butter in a deep, covered pan suitable for cooking rice.
 Heat until the vermicelli is golden brown. Add rice and saute for a minute in
the butter and vermicelli. Add chicken broth  and mix well. Bring to a boil and
then lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes until rice is cooked.  DO NOT OPEN
LID AND PEEK.  Turn heat off and let sit a few minutes. Stir the pilaf and serve. 

2. Rice pilaf should not be gummy or salty. It is a very subtle side dish, and is a
compliment to poultry, fish, lamb and veal.

3. Some interesting variations to the basic recipe above would be the addition of
roasted  pine nuts and minced dry apricots, or sauteing 1/4 cup of minced yellow
onions or scallions in the butter just after browning off the vermicelli**.
**NOTE: Vermicelli is the traditional pasta used in this dish, but other small pastas such as "orzo" may be used as well. The browning of pasta in the butter imparts a unique flavor to the pilaf that rice alone will not accomplish. Do not omit the pasta!

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