Quick Rice

When I was in college, I looked to instant rice and boxed mixes for rice dishes on the quick. Ever since, I've tried to avoid them. After all, the mixes are notoriously high in salt and I've just never shaken the association with poor student eating. I never went the instant ramen route, so rice it was. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy rice and rice dishes. I've just generally taken a bit more time to put together homemade whenever possible. But now, I don't have an excuse since homemade can happen in about the same time the instant stuff does:

And who ever discovered shitake mushrooms and crumbled bacon in their Rice-a-Roni? This stuff is glorious and can be on the table in less than 15 minutes using a pressure cooker. As the rice cooks, the dried mushrooms are reconstituted and the broth mixture gets an added mushroom flavor boost. Then they get sliced and added back to the rice, along with bacon if you want it. If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, use vegetable broth and skip the bacon — it will still be fantastic.

I have absolutely made this dish my main course before, but I also love having it alongside anything from roasted pork or chicken, baked ham (Easter side anyone?), and seared steaks. In fact, when I find myself pausing for more than a minute or two to ponder what I should have with a dinner main course, this has become my go-to dish. I hope you find it as versatile as well!

Quick Bacon-Mushroom Pilaf

  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c. medium-grain white rice
  • 1/3 c. diced red onion
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 ounces dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 c. cooked, chopped bacon (optional)

Select Sauté or Browning on your pressure cooker and allow to heat.

Add the butter and olive oil to the pressure cooker pot and then add the rice and red onion; stir for three minutes.

Mix in the 3 1/2 cups cooking liquid (broth and water), salt, and mushrooms.

Lock the lid in place and close the pressure valve. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Complete a quick release. Using tongs, remove the mushrooms and slice into bite-sized pieces. Return the sliced mushrooms and add the chopped bacon to the rice and stir well to combine and warm both the mushrooms and the bacon. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 14 minutes

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