GINNA PARSONS: Garlic rice pairs nicely with kebabs

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

The recent spate of cool weather we’ve been having has just made me want to live outdoors. Three times this past weekend, my family and I spent time sitting on our front porch enjoying the pleasant temperatures.
Who would have thought we would get this kind of weather in July in Mississippi?
When my husband asked on Monday what we were having for dinner, I knew immediately that we once again needed to put something on the grill. I picked shish kebabs, which we haven’t had in a while.
I suggested we serve them over basmati rice, one of our new favorite side dishes. But as the day went on, I decided to find a recipe to kick this flavorful rice up a notch.
My July issue of Cooking Light magazine came through for me. In a recipe for spiced chicken thighs that didn’t particularly appeal to me – I’m a white meat girl – there was included a recipe for a side dish of Garlicky Rice.
When I saw the rice was basmati, I knew it was meant to be.
Turns out, this rice was the perfect accompaniment to the flavorful kebabs, which were just chicken breast cubes marinated in Italian dressing and threaded on skewers with red and yellow bell peppers and hunks of Vidalia onions.
The next time I make this rice, I may add some fresh spinach and grated Parmesan for even more flavor.

Garlicky Rice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
11⁄2 cups water
3⁄8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add water and 3⁄8 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice. Stir in parsley and black pepper.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.