Friday, September 13, 2013

Perfect Rice Every Time

Who likes rice?
I do, I do!
Wierdo. I know.
Anyway. Rice is one of those things everyone needs to know how to make. There are a lot of cooking methods and recipes out there. My mom read somewhere to add liquid up to your first knuckle. RANDOM. I'm not saying it doesn't work 'cause I'm sure that totally works for someone.

I cook rice a lot, and I make it a lot of different ways....but I use the same "method" every time.
I'd say recipe, but the recipe can be changed. The method is the key. Plus I have a few tips that will give you yummy rice every time. lets start with the method.

First, you want to toast your rice.
-Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in your pan and add your dry rice. Stir until all grains are coated and "toast" for a few minutes. Just until some of the grains start to look slightly golden brown.

Next, you will add your liquid.
-By liquid, I don't mean water. I suppose you could use half water. I like to use chicken stock or broth. Sometimes I use juice, depending on the recipe. So the ratio for rice/liquid is this:
1 part rice + 2 parts liquid.

Now, you want to turn to high and season.
-Definitely season with salt. Quite a bit. At this point you can also add pepper, garlic or onion powder, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, cumin, or whatever suites your recipe.

Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover and reduce to low heat and set timer for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes, your rice done.

So here are some tips to keep in mind-
-Season really well and add flavorful liquid. Rice absorbs all of the cooking liquid, that's why it is bland when cooked with water.
-Don't remove lid during will let all of the heat and steam out.
-If you add veggies before cooking, use a tiny bit less liquid. I would take out about 1/8 cup for each cup of liquid.

-For a Spanish type rice, use canned tomato sauce as part of the cooking liquid. Saute diced garlic & onion in pan before toasting rice, and season with paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Add fresh cilantro after cooking.
-For a rice pilaf, sauté diced carrot, zucchini, & onion in pan before toasting rice and use chicken broth for cooking liquid. After cooking, add fresh parsley.
- For Mexican type rice, add frozen corn and canned black beans to boiling liquid. Use part chicken stock and part tomato juice. Season with garlic powder, onion powder cumin, and chipotle.
- For an Asian type rice, sauté diced garlic, ginger, carrot and scallions in pan before toasting rice. Use chicken stock with a splash of both soy sauce and chili sauce for liquid. After cooking, garnish with chopped parsley and diced scallion.

Using this cooking method for rice, your possibilities are endless. Serve plain white rice with Stir-Fry, or use my recipe ideas for a rice dish that stands on it's own. Also, don't hesitate to use this cooking method and create a recipe of your own. Why not?



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