Monday, August 31, 2009

Simple, Quick, Perfect White Rice - Every Time

What is the deal with white rice?  Why does this simple little grain seem to be an elusive item to prepare well?  A discussion we got into on Saturday night.  Dinner consisted of grilled chicken, mixed veggies and white rice.  He marinated the chicken, I got the veggies ready for nuking (don't judge me - they were frozen) and the water boiling for rice.

What are you doing? - he says.
Making the rice - says me.
You're boiling the water first? - perplexed look.
Of course. That's how I always make it.  I showed you.
I thought you put everything in the pot and bring it to a boil. The last time I made it, it took 45 minutes.
45 MINUTES!? - now I'm perplexed - Uh, no - rice takes about 20-25.
He's confused.

White rice should not take 45 minutes to cook.  You also do not need to rinse the rice, add butter, or be concerned about fluffing as opposed to stirring the rice.  You do not need packaged instant rice or a rice cooker for perfection.  Looking on-line, I found about a million different schools of thoughts, as well as recipes, for rice.  Now I was confused.  I have always found rice to be a very simple dish to prepare and one of the few that I have always been able to make perfectly and without fail.  My grandmother taught us to make the perfect rice while I was growing up.  It's always quick, simple and foolproof every time.  I'm sharing it below.

Tita's Simple White Rice
The ratio is 2:1 so for 1 cup of rice, use 2 cups of water.

1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove (optional)
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups boiling water
salt to taste

boil 2 cups water. place oil in pot with tight fitting lid on high heat.  add peeled and chopped garlic clove(or 2) if desired.  place rice in hot oil and sautee for about 1 minute.  add boiled water and pinch or two of salt.  stir while boiling for about 1-2 minutes.  reduce heat to low.  place paper towel on pot and cover tightly (yes, between the pot and the lid - this will absorb the water quickly and help steam the rice).  cook until rice has absorbed all water - approximately 20-25 minutes.  Paper towel will be soaked.  VERY IMPORTANT - take paper towel from between pot and lid before turning off rice.  Stir, add more salt if necessary, and serve.  Makes about 4-6 servings.

1 comment:

  1. You talk about Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (1961), and then you give us a recipe for white RICE?

    Oh, I forgot, this is a recreational blog, not cullinary. Never mind...

    More about closets, please. And your trip to Africa.


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