Grandma Angel's Rice Pilaf

Grandma Angel's Rice Pilaf

Grandma Angel's Rice Pilaf

When you grow up surrounded by family, traditions like Sunday dinner, family birthday parties, and sleepovers at your grandparents house are common. Among countless memories, a handful stick out that we look back on now with so much fondness. My 8th birthday party, when to my horror, my cousin exclaimed to the entire family that I had gotten my first bra. Amanda throwing up into a makeshift Kleenex-box guitar in the DZ Discovery Zone parking lot. Overhearing our grandparents speaking Armenian to each other, wondering what they might be talking about. Spending summer days with our grandpa, who we watched negotiate with every restaurant server to use as many coupons as possible, but would always let us get Starburst from the vending machine at the public pool. 

A majority of these memories in our family include food. Seeing stacks of lahmajoon on the table; rummaging through cabinets and drawers to find where the cinnamon bears were hidden; the smell of the gas stove when chicken soup or kufta were cooking.

One image of particular significance was the large, hammered iron pot that sat on Grandma Angel's stove for the majority of our childhood. Every birthday, anniversary, summer cookout, church picnic or holiday -  there was the iron pot.  It always contained the same thing - rice pilaf. And not just any rice pilaf - the best rice pilaf in the world. Everyone who knew Grandma also knew her pilaf. It was her trademark. It would be reasonable to infer that it's greatness was due to the amount of butter, the specific chicken broth, or the kosher salt that she used. But we're pretty sure that it was Grandma and her iron pot that made it so awesome.

When she passed away, she left a collection of vintage rings that each of us wear. And while we wear them and think of her often, it's the iron pot that reminds us of the amazing woman she was.


| Hillary

Grandma Angel's Rice Pilaf

Yield: serves 8-10

2 cups long grain rice (Grandma used Uncle Ben's)

4.5 cups chicken broth

2 cups long noodles (vermicelli or fine egg noodles) 

8 tbsp. unsalted butter

kosher salt

In a large pan, brown long noodles with butter.  Add rice, and mix to combine.  In a separate saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add the broth to the rice mixture.  Stir, add salt to taste.  Cover and cook slowly on low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add broth and salt as needed.

Grandma Angel 1950