Using a bland food like rice or mashed potatoes is a good way to sample different seasonings. Here’s a way to taste the difference between the flavors of a mirepoix, the quintessential French flavor base, and a trinity, the flavor base of Cajun and Creole cooking. The cooking technique is that of a basic rice pilaf.
Made with carrot, this would be a nice accompaniment to sautéed chicken breasts. If made with green pepper, some cooked, sliced andouille sausage added at the end, and a garnish of sliced scallions, would make a tasty one-dish main course.
- 2 TB butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped OR
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt & pepper
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until it bubbles.
- Add the vegetables and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and, stirring with a fork, sauté until the rice is hot when you touch it with your knuckle.
- Pour in the chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil.
- Add salt, taking into account how salty the chicken broth is.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a paper towel (be careful not to let it extend too far beyond the pot lid, especially on a gas burner) and the lid, and cook for exactly 20 minutes.
- When the rice is done, the surface will have holes in it and the rice will be dry.
- Fluff with a fork, add salt if needed, and pepper to taste.