Sunday, April 21, 2013

Perfect rice, every time

So-called "instant" rice sucks.  In the interests of helping you to never, never have to serve it EVER, let me tell you about the absolute best, never-fails way to cook rice. This works on any kind of rice (barring "instant") and results in fluffy, perfect rice every time!

You will need:
A saucepan that can go from stovetop to oven
My dollar-store strainer- these are great for rice!
A stovetop and an oven
A sieve or pasta-drainer thingy like this one:

You'll also need:
2 c. raw rice, any variety
Water to rinse rice
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 c. water for cooking

Dump your rice in the pan, and cover with water. (If using converted rice, just barely dampen the rice- don't wash it.) Swish it around with your fingers, and drain it, using the strainer. This reduces both the starchiness, and the arsenic levels, of the rice. You can repeat, for starchier varieties, such as sushi rice. After draining thoroughly, add the cooking water- using 2 1/4 c. will result in drier rice, more will give you softer rice- choose according to taste. Then (and this is crucial!) allow the rice to soak in the cooking water for at least 1/2 hour. Once the rice has soaked, cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop, and preheat your oven to anywhere from 300F on up- if you're already baking something in your oven, whatever temperature it's at will work just fine, and you can kill two birds with one stone. When the rice reaches the boiling point, move it into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes- if you live at a higher elevation, you'll want to do the full 25. When the timer goes off, remove from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes, and serve! Note: for best results, use a bamboo rice paddle, like this one-

My dollar-store bamboo rice paddle

Bamboo doesn't stick to rice, or cut it up and smash it- another one of God's little culinary miracles! 

Hope this technique helps someone to avoid using "instant" rice. Lord, I hate that stuff.

In other news, I'm not making the progress on the hat pattern and giveway that I had hoped for- "weekend" and "getting stuff done" are apparently mutually exclusive concepts, especially for my kids. Thing One and Thing Two have taken it upon themselves to create every sort of diversion and/or distraction possible. Thing Two has also developed a new habit: screaming like a rabbit being killed. For. No. Reason. This tends to result in either the Big Guy or me (or both of us) screaming just like parents who've been scared to the core that something really awful has happened to our children and then finding out that NOTHING actually is wrong- it's just someone's idea of a joke. A really poor one. This scenario has repeated itself numerous times this weekend, to the extent that Mommy's about ready to hit up that bottle of Mother's Little Helper that's stashed in the back of the freezer (a.k.a., that bottle of Jaegermeister, over in the far corner, behind the ice cream).

No, not really. I'm going to fry chicken, instead.

Hope the weekend has been kind to everyone, and that your world is a happy place today. Coming soon: my fried chicken recipe, and hopefully, a free pattern giveaway, in the near future. Happy Sunday, everybody!

Linking up to Craft-O-Maniac Monday...see ya there!

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