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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moroccan Rice or Millet Butternut Squash Pilaf Recipe

There's dried cherries in there as well. I don't know
why you can't see them in this picture, but they're there!
I made a really yummy dish for supper last night, one that my husband and kids and I all really loved. It got rave reviews, with every family member asking me to please make it again. I can't take all the credit for myself- this recipe uses things that I never would think to pair up myself, but the flavor combination is an absolute hit.
This is based on the Moroccan Millet Butternut Squash Pilaf from Diet Dessert and Dogs, but of course, in my usual style, I changed it around a bit to suit our needs and what we had available (and to make it a tad more cheap).
This recipe calls for millet. The first time I made it, I made it with millet, and it was great. Yesterday, when I tried to make it with millet, for some reason, my millet didn't cook evenly and I had some uncooked millet and some overcooked, waterlogged porridge like millet in the same pot. If you know how to cook millet properly, then make this recipe with millet. Otherwise, make it with white rice or brown rice, and I guarantee, it'll still taste as delicious!
According to Ricki (from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs), if you don't have butternut squash you can make this with any other winter squash or sweet potatoes. I haven't tried it that way, but I'm sure it would also be awesome with roasted carrots as well, as they've all got a similar taste to them.

Moroccan Rice (or Millet) Butternut Squash Pilaf Recipe

Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups rice or millet
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups water if using rice, 2 1/4 if using millet
1/4 cup chopped green olives (open and can and freeze the rest in small portions for use at a later point)
1/4 cup dried sugarless craisins, sugarless cherries, or currants (the original calls for currants, but I used craisins and cherries and both were awesome)

Instructions:
1. Halve and bake your butternut squash until it is completely soft and starting to caramelize.

2. Saute onions in a pot until translucent. Add mustard seeds and cumin.

3. Add rice and the rest of the spices. Saute for a few more minutes. If you're using millet, prepare and cook millet as you're supposed to- as I flopped it last time, I'm not going to give you exact instructions on how to do that.

4. Add water, bring to a boil, then lower to a low flame, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.

5. Chop up the butternut squash into cubes. Mix butternut squash, dried fruit, and olive slices into your rice/millet.

Enjoy!!!

This is so delicious I can eat it hot or cold!

Have you ever cooked millet? Any idea why it could have flopped the way it did?
What do you think of this combination of flavors- sweet squash, rich and earthy and tart olives, and sweet and sour dried fruit, plus curry flavorings? Would you ever pair them together? How do you think they would taste? If you're a little skeptical, trust me on this one- its absolutely delish!!!
Do you think you'd try out this recipe?


Linking up to Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Foods Thursday, Simple Lives ThursdayFat TuesdayFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysReal Food Wednesday

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