Friday, July 25, 2014
The Perfect Rice Dish
Depending on the skill level, rice can either make or break any chef, whether, home or professional.However, with a little help and the right kind of grain anyone can make a superior rice dish light and fluffy.The best part is that there's no need to use expensive rice or elaborate contraptions.Just use the right rice and a simple pot. Kim Severin explored this the other day in the Wednesday The New York Times Dining section.Many people ,even her , have problems with cooking rice.It can be too sticky and too starchy tasting ,which not only ruin it but ruin whatever dish it's accompanying.She enlisted help in this from a wide net of,social media, friends, coworkers and family.Julia Moskin ,another Dining contributor and Ms. Severin's brother recommended the fairly known knuckle method.This calls for measuring both rice and water levels against one's knuckles.This would work if everyone has the same sized fingers.There is a better method, and she found it.For one ,pick a good rice.The recommended kind is Carolina Gold.It is nuttier and more flavorful than the average white rice.You can use Basmati,an Indian rice that is more expensive but cooks up fluffier.Another good choice is Jasmine a Thai rice which is stickier and more flavorful.The next step is rinse the grains very well to remove any lingering starch.Measuring is a key also ,Two cups of water to one cup of rice.Add salt as well.Timing and patience are also crucial.You have to be patient to cook rice.Usually it takes a good fifteen minutes to cook up properly.One of the most important is a new step baking.She borrowed this from Virginia Willis,a Southern chef.Chef Willis learned this in cooking school and it makes big difference both in taste and texture.Baking time should be around seventeen minutes after fully boiling. What to do with it once its cooked? I liked the simple recipe Ms Severin included.It 's a plain rice dish with a tablespoon of butter.This is just a perfect dish on it's own but also a good side for any Cajun recipe or even a goulash when noodles might seem too heavy or chicken with gravy.There are also some other rice recipes such as the Southern classic red beans and rice.This is a hearty dish and a good showcase for the featured ingredient.It's a mix of red beans and spicy Andouille sausage ,flavored with all sorts of spices and herbs such as cayenne pepper and basil?It is an elaborate dish that takes two days to prepare but worth it.An easier one is Mexican style which requires canned tomatoes and peppers with the kick of jalapeño.You can cook it in water or for even more flavor try chicken stock.If there's any leftover plain rice then use it in the additional rice cake recipe.This is a truly tasty treat with the addition of zucchini and onion .Mint and cheddar cheese shreds are also added while two eggs are used for binding the rice to the other ingredients.The patties are then fried in butter.These would make great appetizers however they're perfect for a dinner or lunch .Serve with a blob of sour cream for extra flavor. Making rice should not be so scary?Buy the right kind.Follow the steps to create a light dish that makes not only a good side but an excellent main meal.The fear will go and in its'place, a passion for the perfect rice dish.