About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summerville Rice Perloo

While visiting my aunt in Charleston, South Carolina, I was anxious to retrieve the recipe for a dish my grandmother often made,  Rice Perloo (pronounced perlow).  Rice is the staple dish of the Low Country and was served at breakfast, lunch and dinner at my grandparents' house in Summerville, a picturesque town 25 miles inland from Charleston.  It is a versatile dish that can utilize seafood, vegetables, bacon and ham.  Perloo is a kin to other rice dishes like pilaf and paella and has its' heritage from the Mideast.

My grandparents where simple folk and my grandmother had to stretch a dollar during the Depression to feed a family of seven.  Her version was very simple.  Boil a ham, then use the broth to cook the rice in. She sauteed onion, added the rice and seasoned in with salt and pepper and then the chopped ham.  When we vacationed at the Isle of Palms, the recipe evolved to "Red Rice" with green pepper, celery, tomatoes and was seasoned with Worchester then shrimp was added.  That was a real fine meal after a day playing in the surf and building sand castles.

There was no written recipe with measurements.  My grandmother measured the correct amount of water for rice by sticking her finger in the pot to see if it reached the middle joint of her index finger.  She probably never owned measuring cups and spoons, just cooked by site and feel.  I'm pretty good at "guessing" measurements but not that good.  She managed to feed her family the best way she new and it always tasted fine to me.

This isn't true to her method but I think she would enjoy it.  It's sooo good!

1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
Put all together in a pot and bring to a boil, cover and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed. About 25 minutes.

In a large skillet cook 2 slices of best thick cut bacon over medium heat until brown and all fat is rendered.  Remove bacon and reserve 1 tbls fat.

1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup  diced red pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until soft
Add :
1 tbls minced garlic and cook stirring frequently for 1 minute
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Cooked rice and combine with vegetables and spice
1 20 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbls tomato paste
Combine and bring to a simmer
Chopped cooked bacon and 1 cup ham (or 1 lb cleaned uncooked shrimp only at the last)
1 tbls Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco to taste
1 Tbls chopped fresh parsley to finish

Cook 10 minutes over low heat until liquid is just absorbed(for shrimp, add at the last and cook until just pink)

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