I don't want to bore you with pictures from our Egyptian adventure. You've seen photos of the antiquities for years, and I must admit mine are no more riveting than those you've seen a dozen times before. I'm tempted to say I have nothing new to offer, but that's not quite true. The problem is finding the words to describe the awe that engulfs you when you see these monuments and reflect on their age and size and the effort and intellect that was required to build them. Of all the monuments you've seen, I suspect the Pyramids most symbolize ancient Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Cheops and its two companions, collectively known as the Pyramids of Giza, sit just outside Cairo on a plateau that's called the Giza Necropolis. The area is unique because the Great Pyramid is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that remains intact. The tomb inside the Great Pyramid can be accessed by using the lower opening seen in the picture to the right. While it's quite an experience to be inside that huge mound of rock, there is little to see once you're in, and the hot, steep and narrow entrance is definitely not for the claustrophobic. Unfortunately, no photos can be taken inside the burial chamber, so you'll have to imagine what it's like. The room is small and dark and not at all like it's depicted in movies. I can tell you that you'll want to sit a spell if you decide to visit the burial chamber. While it's not a hard climb, the fetid air and poor light can quickly get to you and you'll appreciate the sun and fresh air waiting for you outside. While tonight's recipe is Egyptian, it's so simple that I decided to present it to you in pyramidal form to make it look a bit more important. The rice, called Ruzz Bi Shairie, is wonderful when served with grilled poultry or meat and I know you will enjoy it. Here is how it's made.
Rice Pilaf with Golden Vermicelli...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Tour Egypt
3/4 cup vermicelli, broken in 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
3 cups boiling chicken or flavorful vegetable broth
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper or ground cinnamon for garnish
In a 2-quart casserole, over low heat, saute vermicelli in butter and oil until golden, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the vermicelli. Stir in rice and fry until glazed, about one minute. Add boiling liquid and salt and boil for one minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with your spice of choice and fluff with a fork just before serving. Yield: 6 servings.
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