When Tim and I got married twenty-five years ago, I planned to give cookbooks as favors to our wedding guests, who’d shared their favorite recipes with us. I didn’t manage to produce the cookbooks in 1995, but I’m hoping late is better than never! I think sharing these recipes (more than 100!) will be a fun part of celebrating this milestone anniversary—and celebrating our friends and family, too.
Aunt Alice’s Armenian Pilaf is one of our favorite side dishes. Paired with kebabs, chicken breasts, steak, you name it, it’s so delicious and easy to make. I think the secret (besides the stick of butter!) is to get the noodles nice and brown.
The first time I had this amazing pilaf was about 27 years ago at the annual Cousins’ Day hosted by Tim’s relatives. Tim’s family is from West Virginia and his great-uncle, Bill, married into an Armenian family in Philadelphia. They hosted great parties, including Cousins’ Day, and I’ll never forget the amazing kebabs Tim’s cousin Rich cooked for us.
Uncle Bill and Aunt Alice always reminded me of my grandparents, Tony and Marilyn—completely devoted to each other and just a bit sassy. Uncle Bill passed away last year, and we know he’s missed more than words can say.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup fine noodles
2 cups long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
salt and pepper
Melt margarine in saucepan, add fine noodles, and stir constantly until noodles are browned. Add rice and mix thoroughly. Add broth, water, and salt and pepper. Stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.