The baked veggie and brown rice pilaf that made me want to punch a hole in the wall

January 20, 2010 · 22 comments

in healthy,rice and grains,vegetables

The day I made this rice dish, I commented to a few people that I had managed to become completely winded from bending over and picking up a pad of post-it notes that had fallen on the floor.

Well, if being too…err, round…to do that is a problem, then imagine what kind of problems cleaning this up poses:

You’ll notice there is pretty much nothing in this pot and that’s because as I was putting it in the oven, I managed to lose grip of it somehow and all  but about 4 grains of rice flew out, all over the oven and kitchen.  The lid managed to fly clear across the room.  To make matters worse and the mess more difficult to clean, the original batch was actually a doubled version of the one I have posted below, because when I tried my hand at this again the next day (you didn’t think I would actually try cleaning it up and remaking it the same night, did  you?), I didn’t have enough rice to make a full batch.

Since the oven had been preheated, the rice and veggies basically started to cook on the door and the bottom of the oven, so there was really no way to clean that immediately without burning myself.  And this is one of those times when I remember why I’m not really a fan of hardwood floors in the kitchen.  I had to start cleaning those up right away. It took forever, it exhausted me, and well, quite frankly, it pissed me off. I called Tom and asked that he pick up some food on his way home, so pub burgers & fries it was for dinner that night.

And there are *still* remnants of this mess in my oven, trapped in crevices at the edge of the door and completely under those crevices in unreachable spots. I don’t think we will have a brown-rice free oven for as long as we live in this current condo.

Thankfully, when I made this the next day everything went smoothly (except for the whole finding out I didn’t have enough rice thing). This is a nice dish to make because after you get it into the oven (the hardest part for me, apparently), you can forget about it. It cooks evenly, unlike some stove-top brown rices, and if you’re already using your oven to roast or bake a protein, it’s nice to just have both components of your meal in there for pretty much the same amount of time.  We had this alongside some roasted chicken thighs, which cooked for roughly the same time since I was baking at a lower temp than normal for roast chicken.

Also, it’s quite tasty. It gets a little bit creamy and the flavor from the chicken broth and bay permeates everything.  I’ll definitely be making this again and again, but just making sure I have a death grip on the pot before it goes into the oven.

Baked Brown Rice and Vegetable Pilaf

Serves 2-3
print Printer Friendly Recipe

1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small to medium carrot, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown rice
1 bay leaf
scant 1 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a small or medium shallow saucepan that has a tight fitting lid (or you can use whatever you want and transfer to a small baking dish later), melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook about 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the vegetables start to get tender but the carrots and celery still retain some of their bite.

Add the brown rice and toast it for a minute or two, stirring everything together.  Add the bay leaf, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with the lid and then place in the oven for 1  hour. Let it stand a few minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter G January 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Aren’t kitchen disasters fun?…NOT! Sorry to hear about your accident! Just think…you got to eat burgers and fries! Love a good pilaf..especially with brown rice and vegies!

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Renea January 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Yum, and LOL! Kitchen mishaps tick me off, too!

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themilkmanswife January 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Oh nooo! That would have sent me into full on sob mode. I get so irritated when I make a huge mess like that…and it happens all.the.time! But it looks like it turned out wonderful the second time around! I’m on a brown rice kick lately and this looks delicious!

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Kerstin January 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Oh no – I’m impressed you made it the next night! I really like the mushrooms in your pilaf – yum!

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rookie cookie January 20, 2010 at 11:57 pm

My apologies. I giggled out loud when I saw that first picture. Rice is the worst thing in the world to clean up. I am going to give you a heads up. DO NOT LET BABIES AND TODDLERS FEED RICE TO THEMSELVES. The mess is always catastrophic. It’s always best to wait until morning to clean it up so that the rice has a chance to dry out. Or get a dog merely for the value of them eating rice off the floor.

My husband is a caterer and he makes rice using this same oven method. He can do a big hotel pan full of it and it always cooks beautifully. I have never thought of doing it in a small batch like you did. Good idea.

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Anna A January 21, 2010 at 1:20 am

Wow too funny. I could just see this all happening in slow motion. You are a sitcom character for sure (and i mean that in a good way)! love it and love the brown rice pilaf!

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nina January 21, 2010 at 3:24 am

Oh my hat, I feel for you!!That is not a nice mess to clean…..

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branny January 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

If at first you don’t succeed…eat a burger!

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bellini valli January 21, 2010 at 8:12 am

Oh no, what a pain in the “patootskie” that must have been Elly. When we msaek this we are warned to keep a firm grip on the pan when putting it in the oven.

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Meghan January 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

Oh my gosh! I am so sorry! My jaw dropped when I saw that photo! I once dropped an unbaked apple pie face DOWN in my oven as I was putting it in – same thing, it started to cook on the hot oven door/floor. It’s the worst feeling! I’m glad you got up the courage to try the recipe the next day. It looks great!

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ToyLady January 21, 2010 at 8:55 am

I’m with #5 – you need a dog!

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had large furry “help” cleaning up spills and splatters!

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Mrsblocko January 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

I’d probably still be crying if I did something like that while I was pregnant. I give you extra triple bonus points for being able to be clear headed enough to make it the next day.

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Joan Nova January 21, 2010 at 9:42 am

I, too, had a mishap which I was thinking of posting today. My magic bullet exploded kale all over my wall, counter and coffee maker. It was a mess but at least it wasn’t hot and it didn’t continue cooking. It also brings to mind an occasion when my sister was 9 months pregnant and took a family-size baking dish of stuffed shells out of the oven for our Easter dinner and it went loose on the floor. The glass didn’t break and she was so upset, we just scooped it up and ate it! That was a disaster but averted.

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Jade January 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I am so sorry you had to go through this. I HATE making messes in the kitchen, but somehow it always happens! The rice looks so good though.

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Cynthia January 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Elly, I look at the first photograph and totally feel your frustration. I hate when stuff like that happens. I similar incidents three days in a row late last year – with flour, dishwashing liquid and rice – not together, separately.

Nevertheless, the dish looks mighty delicious.

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Annie January 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

I hate that this happened to you, but it that picture cracks me up! This looks wonderful though, definitely something we would enjoy. I can’t wait to try it!

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Jenn January 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I am so sorry but I had to laugh reading this entire post….I have totally been there, with stuff splattered all over the kitchen and dinner being essentially ruined…if you can look back at it later it really can be comical……The dish looks delicious though! Glad you didn’t let one night’s mishap keep you from making it again!

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Kitchen Butterfly January 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

:-). You handled it pretty well I would say, considering….and because I have LOADS of brown rice, I will be making this soon!!!!!

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nic010205 February 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I just found your blog and this post made me laugh out loud. I’m sorry it was such a disaster. I had one of those recently where I had to leave the kitchen my boyfriend had to throw everything out.

Can’at wait to keep reading the posts. I spent a week in Greece last year and LOVED it. I became addicted to loukoumades. I think I would go back just for that… hmm that would be an expensive dessert!

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elly February 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Mmm, I love loukoumades too! I have a recipe in my blog that tasted great but was a bit thin I think. I want to try a recipe my uncle recently made that uses yogurt.

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