Thursday, 14 October 2010

Recipe Thursday - How to Make Perfect Rice Every Time

One day my rice would be soggy, the next lumpy and gluey.  Uck, I was close to giving up and going to instant when a friend told me her mother-in-law's secret: lots of water.

First of all, don't skimp on the rice.  Buy the best you can afford.  Basmati No. 817 has been my choice for over ten years.  Occasionally I can get it at the grocery story though usually we go to a small Indian Grocery Store.

Lots of water.  I cook my rice in a medium size pot that holds about seven cups of water.  Bring the water to a full boil.  Measure about  1 1/2 cups of rice grains into a fine mesh strainer and rinse for about one minute under running water till the water runs clear.  This will help ensure that your rice is not sticky.

Carefully pour the wet rice into the boiling water.  Set your timer for 5 minutes.  Give it a quick stir and then let the water come back to a boil.  After 5 minutes, stir the rice once more so that it's not sticking to the bottom.  Turn the heat off and set the lid on the pot but leave it slightly ajar so it won't seal shut as the temperature cools.  Now set the timer for 15 minutes.  Leave the rice undisturbed for that whole time. 

When the timer rings lift the lid and look in the pot, the rice should be mounded up in the water.  Carefully pour the rice and water into a colander that you have set into the sink.   You can test the rice to ensure softness, but you don't want it to sit in the hot water too long or it will become mushy.  Shake the colander to remove excess water and return the rice to the pot to keep warm until needed.

Your rice will be perfect everytime.  No need to buy that expensive 'converted rice'.  Extra cooked rice can be stored in the refrigerator.  To reheat you can either steam it or put in a glass bowl  with a tablespoon of water in the microwave.  Heat for 30 seconds at a time until warm enough.  Do not leave cooked rice on the counter overnight as micro-organisms can start to grow and turn the rice bad and make you sick.

What am I cooking?  I have two new cookbooks that I am testing recipes from.

I have received a copy of Robin Hood Baking from Robert Rose.  I have made a few recipes to date and have quite a few more marked.  My family is loving this.

From my library I have a copy of Jamie's Food Revolution.  It is based on his Ministry of Food campaign and show from Rotherham, England.  by chance I happened to catch the first episode of this series this morning.  Wow, the guy had his work cut out for him.  I then paged through the book and am looking forward to giving these recipes a try.


Shan said...

I really like that jamie oliver book, there's a lot of basics but also a lot of great things you wouldn't think to try.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I'm excited to hear about the Jamie Oliver book. School lunch is a big issue here in Madison, so I've been learning some more about it recently, and his name comes up a lot as an example.

Sherrie said...

Hi Heather,
Thanks for sharing how to cook rice. I've had trouble with that for years. Mine always gets sticky. Have a great day!

Just Books

Linda said...

Thanks for the rice tip. I will have to try this.

Paulina said...

Thanks for that interesting post. Being of Asian descent, I go through a lot of rice. Most of the Asian families I know "cheat" -- we all use rice cookers, and they work great. I'm still working on the optimal water-to-rice ratio for non-white rice, though.

Heather said...

HI Paulina,
I find the brown rice more difficult. I tend to use 2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Some packages say 3 cups water, but that is always too much.

Beth F said...

Great rice advice. I always had trouble with rice until I bought a rice cooker in the 1980s. Really and truly the best appliance I ever bought. I use brown or white basmati almost exclusively (except for risotto).

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Great post! and I like the looks of the Baking book :)

bermudaonion said...

This sounds so easy! Between my husband and our dog, we never have leftover rice around here.

Elly D said...

You know my very first boyfriend was called Robert Rose :) LOL... I was about 7. funny how I can still remember his name. I wonder if there is any connection. That chocolate cake looks good.