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07/07/2010

Recipe: Summertime Corn Pilaf!  »


If you are anything like me, people are always inviting you to parties. Oy! But in the summer, getting invited to a party suddenly means you’re supposed to cook something. What the hey?! Outside of Thanksgiving, you don’t have to cook jackshit for parties in the other seasons! Bring some booze and you’re golden. Then summer comes along and POW! Everyone’s a commie! Ever heard of a “summer share?” Exactly.

That’s what the modern barbecue is: watermelon-coated communism. Like the potlatches of the Pacific Northwest, your neighborhood cookout is a redistribution of wealth. I guess they’re also a redistribution of time, or time in the kitchen, that is. Now instead of one miserable person sweating it up over the stove in 90-degree weather, we all have to. Fucking super.

Well have no fear! Megan Rascal is here to show you how to bring down the system from within: Corn and rice pilaf! Cheap, yummy and easy to make, it’s the perfect summer side-dish for any party.

Ingredients:
(serves 4ish)
1 cup rice
1 onion
2 cups corn
1 teaspoon sugar
A shit-ton of salt and pepper… to taste.

Instructions:
Now, loosely defined, pilaf is just rice with something else (I hear there’s also something called “chicken pilaf”—what’s next?! Submarine pilaf?! Ick! Stick with the rice, kids). So make some rice, genius. I can’t help you with this as I’m incompetent when it comes to making rice. It’s my only flaw. I’d say make brown rice but if you’re hanging out with squares (and knowing you, you probably are), maybe you should make white rice.

Next, chop up the onion. In a frying pan with oil, saute the onion for, like, ever. I don’t mind burnt edges myself but if you aren’t into that, stir often. When the onion is soft and cooked, add the corn! This can be canned corn, frozen corn, fresh off the cob, I don’t care. Add the sugar and let the corn and onions cook together for a while. Don’t forget to stir but again, I prefer a little brown on my corn.

Finally, add a bunch of salt and a TON of pepper. That’s what this dish is all about: the sweetness of the corn and onion coupled with the bite of the pepper. And while I don’t care what kind of corn you use, I am a pepper snob. It’s got to be fresh-ground black pepper. Fresh ground, I say! It’s not that much to ask.

Other bonus: this is good warm or cold.

Other things to try:
Add wilted spinach and stewed tomatoes. You can add tomatoes regardless, but the spinach doesn’t work that great without tomatoes.

Use shallots instead of onions. Ballin’!

Add beans, black or kidneys. You know what I always say: no fiber, no party!

Imagine this pilaf alongside some bbq tofu! Too delicious! I know, I’m the man. OK, go forth, make pilaf and be merry.

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