Rice was the topic at CCKC Chef and Lead Instructor Jill Garcia Schmidt’s last live Facebook segment, ‘Hey Good Lookin’, What’s Cookin’?’ of Ask A Chef last Tuesday.
Chef Jill has a special trick to making delightful, fluffy long-grain white rice every time. She swears that it guarantees Perfect White Rice. The trick? Your oven!
Start preparing your rice by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. That’s right – preheat your oven! Next, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in an ovensafe saucepan. Add 1 cup long-grain white rice, and stir to coat your rice. Toast it and let it ‘pop’ until it’s white. Add 2 cups liquid (Chef Jill suggests using a chicken or vegetable stock for flavor instead of using water) and season your rice with some salt and pepper. Add a tight lid to the pot and place the saucepan in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. When you take your pan from the oven and lift the lid, fluff your rice, admire how the grains ‘bloomed’ and enjoy your Perfect Rice!
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Here’s a quick reference guide of some common rice varieties. Follow directions on the package for more specifics.
Basmati Rice, another popular long-grain rice, is an aromatic rice with a lightly nutty flavor. The name ‘basmati’ actually comes from the Sanskrit work ‘vasmati’, which means ‘fragant’. Basmati rice toasts well, but doesn’t ‘bloom’ well like long-grain white rice. The proportion of liquid to rice for basmati is more like 2: 1.5 (less liquid to rice).
Jasmine Rice is used in many Asian dishes (but doesn’t get sticky like sushi rice). Rinse Jasmine Rice before using. The proportion of Liquid to Rice for Jasmine Rice is 2:1.
Brown Rice takes a longer time to cook than other rices mentioned above. Toast your brown rice before using (don’t use oil when toasting it). Brown rice can tend to cook inconsistently. Sometimes you’ll find it to be sticky.
Arborio Rice is used in Risotto, and it has an almost creamy texture. Soak the Arborio rice in oil for 30 minutes before cooking. Not over heat. Just soak it. After 30 minutes, turn up the heat to toast the rice, then add WARM liquid to make your risotto. (The liquid being warm is key to your risotto success!)
CLICK HERE to watch Chef Jill’s ‘Ask A Chef’ video segment as she talks about all things rice-related.