Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to cook rice on the stove 101

I think we need a lesson for some of my beginner cooks. I love you so much. I want to help however I can. So this one today is for you. I get asked to come in and teach basic staple cooking on a regular basis. One of the reasons I started this blog was so that my students could have a great resouce long after my class with them was over. Some gals and guys never ever once learned how to cook something as basic as rice. I'm totally loving that some are willing to admit it! Hey, I never learned how to play the piano...but I recently started taking lessons. Does it bother me that I have the pre-school primer on how to play it? No. It is what it is. I can learn. So can anyone who wants to do so. Same with cooking. Not any reason on earth why it has to be scary or weird to admit you need to learn a new skill. I do it. I admit I don't know everything about food. There. I said it. I learn something new everyday! Now lets cook some rice. This is the rice tutorial...without a rice cooker/steamer gadget. Stove top in a pan. Can you do it? Perfectly every time? Let's see if this helps.

Basic Boiled White Rice

1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
salt to taste (I use about 1 tsp)

1. In a 1 and a half quart (6 cups) capacity heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, boil the water and the salt, that is when the bubbles don't stop even when you stir it. Add the rice, cover the pot, and turn the burner to the lowest setting. Set your timer for 17 minutes. Don't stir it. Just let it simmer. When the timer goes off, don't open the lid, just turn off the stove and let the rice continue to steam itself for an additional 5 minutes. This will produce perfect rice every time if you follow the instructions. Measure everything with "measuring cups". They are sold in the baking aisle. Some gals and guys don't know that. If you aren't sure if your pot is able to hold 6 cups, measure 6 cups of water into the pan first. If it works, you are in business. Be sure that the pan has a heavy bottom too. It the pan is thin, you will burn the rice. Must have good pans. Must have.

Now, if you feel pretty crazy and confident, try using chicken or vegetable broth in place of the water. It will add a lot of flavor. Some people don't like a flavor to their rice, besides the rice. I also like using coconut milk in place of the water in Hawaiian dinners, along with 1/4 cup minced onion.

There you go.

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