Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chorizo pilaf in cute dishes is a winner - FACT!

Fact: Putting food in small, cute dishes makes mundane food look irresistible
Fact: Calling an everyday dish something different will make it seem more exotic
Fact: Putting the word ‘FACT’ before a statement makes it more believable. FACT!
First, let’s look at this ‘pilaf’. Now, I’ve made many rice and chorizo dishes in my time – click here and here – and they’ve been called many things, including paella and ‘Spanish rice’. This dish is called pilaf because it uses long-grain basmati rice instead or paella rice or short-grain Calasparra. In any case, I was looking for a quick after-work recipe and ‘pilaf’ attracted me (fact number 2 in action). The pilaf is redolent with the fragrance of cumin and paprika and together with the spicy, oily chorizo, it makes a wonderfully exotic dish.

Now, onto the presentation. How delectable are these dishes? Fact: They are incredibly cute! The mini chef pans are from Luke Nguyen’s new range. The local chef has a range of cooking utensils, woks and frypans, mortar and pestle and serving dishes out (see details here) and they are bound to produce cries of ‘ooh, I must try some of that’ when you wheel them out at your next party. I bought these ones at Myer, and will keep my eye out for other designs. Cuteness overload!

Chorizo Pilaf
serves 2-3

1 tblsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
1 brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tblsp ground cumin
8 small mushrooms, sliced
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tblsp parsley leaves, chopped
lemon wedges, to serve

1. Heat 1oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat. Cook chorizo for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
2. Add onions to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3. Add garlic, chilli, paprika and cumin. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring, or until soft.
4. Stir in rice and mushrooms. Add stock and chorizo. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir through parsley, and salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

recipe adapted from
Ingredients, including cumin and paprika, crushed garlic, mushrooms, chorizo, onion and lemon

Simmering in the pan.
Note: I cheated a bit and used pre-cooked microwave basmati rice from a pouch - I don't often use basmati rice and didn't want to buy a 1kg bag, and the microwave stuff takes less time to cook in the pan anyway.

The lemon here is for display purposes, to show the scale of the tasting plates.
I wouldn't normally serve the evening meal in these little plates but they'd be great for your next party.

One serve is enough for each guest. Only problem is, you'd have to get more than one set of plates if you wanted to invite more than 4 guests!

Yes, the plates are worth it for the delightfulness factor.
The chorizo pilaf was very good, too.


  1. Oh, seriously wow. More gorgeous shots, and a really tempting recipe. Definitely one for the list.

  2. how delicious and i love those little red pots. chorizo is seriously moorish! dayle

  3. I'm off to Myer! Nice pilaf btw!

  4. It's all in the presentation. And the name. And whether or not you own a thesaurus, apparently. And the fact that it looks so damn good! Love chorizo.

  5. I saw Luke Nguyen's new homeware range, totally adorable. I love anything with chorizo and these look amazing. It's like having a shot of pilaf :P

  6. This is super cute... I declare you chorizo queen!

  7. How true, cuteness overload ;) Super adorable! I just got myself some paella rice from home, will be trying it out next week :)

  8. They are very cute little dishes you managed to pick up =) FACT: Just love everything that is coming out of your kitchen no matter what you think =) Hmm I havn't done a pilaf before, might have to use this as inspiration soon =)

  9. Those dishes are total cuteness overload, Bel. I thought that the minute I clicked over and hadn't read anything yet. And I also agree with your 'facts' list;-) Yum yum...!

  10. FACT : Starting a post with few facts with the word 'FACT' is for me .. cool!! and that's my fact :D GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS presentation!

  11. haha I ws just about to ask where you got these cute servingwares from. Soo good!

  12. your presentation is always so goood! love that red! i recently spotted LN's collection at myer too! seems like all the celebrity chefs are now having their own range! chorizo + rice = win!

  13. I love your composition, love your presentation and LOVE the cute red dishes and what it holds. Just love everything you do with your food and photos!!

  14. wow those pilaf dishes look so pretty!

  15. woohoo! 100th follower, do i win a prize? haha ;}
    absolutely love your blog, cook more cook more!!!

  16. i love cute little plating! this looks like mini-paellas (minus the saffron!).

  17. Ooh ooh ooh a friend of mine gave me some of these for my birthday recently! I will likely be following in your footsteps!

    FACT: if you find yourself being burgled in the middle of the night, don't arm yourself with one of these dishes.

  18. Those serving dishes are adorable, I am in Sydney this week so will see what i can find from that range.

  19. Ah the dishes are super cute! I want!

  20. I only just discovered your blog just finished making this about 30 minutes ago!


    i usually make another pilaf (Bill Granger) and its fab but this one blows it out of the water... its just perfect! Nice strong flavours, beautiful colour and SO simple.... thanks so much for sharing!

    I also added some of mum's homegrown steamed veges on the side with lemon and oil :)

  21. yum! will make this and the family will love it - thanks for sharing!