A Bay Area art critic, Beth Coffelt is also a grimly ferocious chess player. Her lair is Sausalito's famed No Name Bar, a hangout for artists, writers and serious chess buffs. Since she has been known to humiliate some insufferably smug male players after half a dozen moves, Ms. Coffelt has become one of the minor deities of local Women's Lib. It is no longer proper to call her a "master chef," while Mistress Cook sounds like Shakespearean comedy. Whatever-Beth Coffelt's rice pilaf steamed in the wet-pot is incontestably correct.
Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes. In a saucepan, saute the chopped onion, peppers, and garlic in the olive oil until transparent and tender. Add the tomatoes and set aside.
Add the saffron to the chicken stock and place it in the presoaked pot. Add the rice and stir, then add the pine nuts, currants or raisins, salt, pepper and the sauteed vegetable mixture. Stir thoroughly.
Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven.
Set the oven temperature at 480 degrees.
Cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
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