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champagne rice pilaf
Serves 8
2 c long grain white rice, not instant
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c minced green onions
1/3 c minced shallots
1/3 c chopped fresh basil
5 T unsalted butter
1/3 c white sesame seeds
1 c dried currents

1 1/3 c chicken broth
1 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 3/4 c champagne
3/4 tsp Asian chili sauce
3 T light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Advance preparation
Saute sesame seeds over high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
Mix sauce ingredients and refrigerate. Can be done 8 hours in advance.

Last minute preparation
Heat a three quart saucepan over medium high heat. Saute butter, garlic and shallots.
Add the rice and coat with butter. Add the sauce mixture and currents. Bring to a low boil, stirring. Cover and reduce the heat to low, simmer for about 22 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the peppers, green onions, basil and sesame seeds.

Recipe by Hugh Carpenter