Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day 3: Rice

I almost skipped this one too. Plain rice. How hard can it be?

We actually own a rice cooker, which I actually know how to operate. So I can cook rice. My wife laughed at me again on this one. We eat tons of rice, but I stuck to my guns, and made the rice.

Nothing particularly spectacular in the book about how to cook rice. Basically, one cup of rice, two cups of water. Boil water, add rice, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Depending on what kind of rice you use, you need to add a little more or a little less water. We tend to use jasmine rice a lot, and 2:1 works pretty well. It could go as low as 1 3/4 cups water per cup of rice even. For something like basmati, it's even lower. The problem is that it actually depends not only on the variety of rice, but also the brand. Some brands of jasmine we've bought need as little as 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of rice, but that's rare.

If I were you, I'd start with 2:1 and see how you like it.

Dummies also suggests using something other than water, or along with water, like chicken, beef, or vegetable broth. It says to replace some or all of the water with the broth. I went with chicken broth and picked up a can at the store. The label said 14oz, which is just a little less than 2 cups, so I went with the whole can and no water.

No pictures this time, my camera wouldn't cooperate, but the rice came out slightly brown or beige because of the broth. I found this a little ironic, because if you see any Indian advertising for rice, one of the big selling points is how eye-piercing white their particular brand is.

Anyway, it wouldn't do for high class Indian dignitaries, but it tasted pretty good. Not fancy by any stretch, and you obviously want to serve it with something, but I won't be buying the Uncle Ben's wild rice mix anymore, I think.

Quick, simple, and easy. Works for me.

Basic Rice:

1 cup rice

1 can (14 oz) Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable broth, or
2 cups water,
or cups of any combination of water and broth

Bring water/broth to a boil in a medium saucepan (ours is 3 liters, as printed on the bottom).
Pour in rice, and mix.
Bring it back to a boil.
Reduce heat to low/medium-low (just enough to keep it simmering).
Simmer for 30 minutes, or until all the water is gone.

I've always been told not to stir rice when it's cooking, though I've never been told why, so don't.

Fluff it with a fork and serve.

Serves 4 or so as a side dish.

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