First, let’s all take a moment to appreciate how much I love rice.
No, I’m serious. Moment of silence, please.
OK. Rice is my go-to starch. Always. The only time I want mashed potatoes is when I make my meatloaf and I think that’s really just because it’s programmed in my head that you’re supposed to eat mashed potatoes with meat loaf.
And if I cook anything that renders even the slightest bit of pan drippings, I’m making gravy so I can have one of my all-time favorite food combos in the world: rice and gravy. See my recipes for Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy and Fried Pork Chops & Country Gravy if you need some gravy recipes.
And if there’s no gravy, the second best thing to eat over rice is peas or beans (or would that be second and third? whatever). Field peas, black-eyed peas, crowder peas, butter peas, pinto beans, butter beans, lima beans, speckled beans, etc. are dynamite ladled on top of a pile of rice (see also Cajun Ham & Beans... because, evidently, I'm trying to see just how many links I can have in this post). And cut up an onion or some fresh tomatoes to go with it too? STOP IT!!
But I think rice intimidates some people so I’m going to teach you the easiest, no fail way to cook rice. You can’t screw this up. Ever. And the thing I love the most about this is you get to wash away a lot of the starch so there are not as many carbs. Holla!
Rice cooks at an exact 2:1 ratio of liquid to rice. This cannot be some cosmic coincidence. Which proves that God loves rice. So in main dishes like Jambalaya and Chicken Pilau, that’s exactly how you cook it. And if you're making Greasy Rice, you'll want to cook it that way too.
But when you’re cooking it as a side dish, you don’t have to fool with ratios, minding the pot, worrying about it sticking, etc. You just cook it in waaaay more water than is required and strain it like pasta. Then you plop your colander on top of some steaming water and steam it. Viola, y’all.
|See my note below about this colander...|
6 cups water, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
Bring 4 cups water and salt to a rolling boil over high heat in a medium-large sauce pan. Add rice and stir until water starts to boil again. Reduce heat to medium-high, partially cover the pan by placing a lid on it cock-eyed, and boil rice for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. No, ‘cock-eyed’ isn't an actual culinary term but you know what I mean. If you cover the pan tightly, the rice will boil over. Don’t believe me? Try it.
Place a colander in the sink and pour rice into colander. With HOT tap water, thoroughly rinse rice. If your tap water is blechy, you can skip the rinsing step (but reduce the salt by half).
Add 2 cups water to the pan you cooked the rice in and return to the stove. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Place colander on top of pan of boiling water and cover rice with lid (it won’t fit perfectly but it’s OK, it’s not rocket science). Allow rice to steam until the rest of supper is done or for about 10-15 minutes.
Faster, even EASIER method: Skip the rinsing and steaming and just cook it like you would cook pasta (reduce the salt by half).
Note: See that colander? It was my Nanny Richbourg’s. I have 47 others but this is the one I use for everything. Always. Because it's perfect (not too big, just enough holes, etc.). I don’t think you can buy these old aluminum, footed colanders anymore but I can usually find them at the flea market.
vintage nut grinder as wedding gifts with some of my favorite recipes printed on recipe cards.
This nut grinder is priceless to me. Mom has one (that looks JUST LIKE this one I found on Etsy from Modern Vintage Home). I could never find a new one or any replacement versions that yielded such perfectly perfect chopped nuts so I just about laid an egg when I found one at the flea market.