Rice has always been a staple in my home. I grew up eating Minute Rice for breakfast with sausage and eggs and for dinner with salisbury steak and gravy. Sometimes we ate it with butter, sugar, and milk as a cereal. It wasn’t until I was an adult that realized how many types of rice there were and what a poor substitute par-cooked Minute Rice really was. I fell in love with brown rice a few years ago after eating it at P.F. Chang’s but had a hell of a time getting it right when I fixed it at home. Cooked correctly rice (outside of starchy rices like arborio) is fluffy with slightly nutty texture. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up with watery, scorched, or mushy rice because I was either impatient or distracted while cooking it. One day I was watching Tyler Florence on the Food Network making a rice dish and give his secret of perfectly cooked rice. It was so simple that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out myself.
1. The correct ratio of liquid to rice is crucial. Brown rice is 1 cup rice to 2 1/4 cup liquid. Pour 1 cup rice into a 4 quart pot with 2 1/4 cup liquid.
2. Bring to a boil (not a simmer).
3. As soon as rice boils, turn heat down to a simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. This is really important. You must know your stove top well enough to know which setting gives you a simmer vs a low boil. On my stove, the setting that says “simmer” is too hot so I turn it down to “low”. If the heat is too high, you’ll boil away all of the water before the time is up – hence scorched rice.
4. Cook rice for 35 minutes covered and remove from heat. Absolutely positively do not remove the lid – resist the urge to peek. This is critical. The rice needs to steam for another 10 minutes.
5. After 10 minutes, remove lid and fluff with fork.