did you really think i was cooking bird tongues? LOL.
this is a very simple vegetarian rice dish that goes well with many things. not to offend any birds, it is very good with chicken dishes; it also pairs very nicely with grilled fish. it is actually a mixture of basmati, or any long grain white rice, and langues d'oiseaux (long d'wuh-zoh, for you non-french speakers), otherwise commonly known as orzo pasta or bird tongues.
this sidedish is made with both cinnamon and allspice but that can be omitted if you really don't like it. the flavour of these spices do not predominate at all in it but rather give it a more unusual and interesting taste than you would have without it. both the spicing and the use of pasta make it a middleastern and/or sephardi type of rice accompaniment to a meal. presoaking the basmati rice is not necessary however it can be done; just make sure it is well drained and dried before adding to the orzo.
rice with langues d'oiseaux (orzo)
1/4 c orzo pasta
1 c basmati or long grain rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c water or stock or water with 2 tbsp powdered stock (like "osem")
1 tsp salt (less if you're using salted stock or powdered stock)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 -3 tbsp finely chopped parsley or dill or coriander
heat oil and add orzo.
brown the orzo until it is a golden brown. browning the pasta adds a nutty flavour and colour.
immediately add the rice and cook for about a minute. the rice needs to stay white, so turn down the heat.
carefully add the stock or water and seasonings. stand back a bit as it will splatter when you first add the water.
stir and bring to a boil.
cover and lower heat to minimum. cook for 20 minutes without peeking.
remove from heat and let sit, covered, another 10 minutes for the rice to firm up or it will break more easily.
add the chopped parsley, dill or coriander, if using. stir carefully and serve.