No, we’re not going to grow our own rice, silly. We’re just going to cook some. Now this is not your Uncle Ben’s or Minute Rice. We’re going to start with the rice you find in bags near the boxes of quick cook rice.
Okay, now get back here. I know you just checked out because you heard rice in those bags is hard to make. It’s not difficult, just a little time consuming. But what if I told you that you could make a whole bunch at one time, freeze it and then pull it out for dinner at your convenience? Then maybe you might be interested? Okay what if I told you it was cheaper to buy the big bag of rice? See, it might be worth your time.
Let’s move on.
I got my rice making abilities from following a recipe in Nourishing Traditions. You will need some of that chicken stock you made and stuck in your freezer.
Nourishing Traditions advocates soaking all grains for 24 hours before cooking with them to get rid of all those nasty phylates that inhibit digestion, but the author Sally Fallon says rice is one of those grains that has so little phylates, you can get away with not soaking. And hey, I’m all about saving time in the kitchen. So, I don’t soak my rice. It’ll be okay, I promise.
In a fry pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add 2 cups of rice. I suggest long-grain brown rice because it turns out so delicious and it’s better for you than white.
Now you are going to saute your rice in the fats. Stir as it’s cooking. You will hear it crackling as it cooks. If you’ve ever made rice-a-roni and sauteed the vermicelli, this is very similar. Stir for 3 or 4 minutes. The book says to stir until the rice turns milky.
Get out 1 quart (4 cups) of your lovely chicken stock you made last week. Pour over the rice in your pan. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
Bring to a boil and then boil for 10 minutes. Now, you will turn your burner to low and cover. The book says to leave it covered tightly for at least 1 1/2 hours. I say, “Don’t do it!” When I did this it burned. So, occasionally sneak a peek at your rice and add a bit of water if needed. You know you need water if you’ve got an hour left to cook the rice and there is no liquid to be found in your pan. You know, that kind of thing.
I think my stove top must be a bit too hot for this recipe because my rice is usually done in an hour.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Kathleen, I don’t have an hour to play nice with rice.” Actually, I think you might and just not know it. Rice is a project you can work into your existing schedule. I choose to make it on a day we are not eating it, then the pressure is off to prepare it ‘today’. While I’m already hanging in the kitchen (the kids tend to work on their homeschool stuff in the kitchen), I make rice. Or I’ll make it while I’m working on tonight’s dinner. I’m in there anyway and rice isn’t difficult.
Believe me, you won’t be sorry that you made the effort. This rice is so good that I can just stand over the pan with fork in hand and gobble away. It’s almost dangerous. You know, like a spoon and a quart of ice cream.
If your family has had brown rice before and hated it, I’m telling you, they won’t know this is brown rice. It doesn’t taste anything like the standard nasty tasting way of making brown rice.
Once your rice is finished cooking, let it cool a bit and then stuff into some quart size freezer bags. I put 2 cups of rice in each. Flatten the bag. Store in the freezer. When you want rice, pull out your bag, stick into a sink full of warm water and voila, in 20 minute or so, you have rice for your meal.
Rice In Summary
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cups long grain brown rice
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp salt
Melt butter with olive oil in a deepish frying pan.
Saute for 3-4 minutes until rice begins to turn ‘milky’.
Add chicken stock. Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Turn burner to low; put on lid. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Peeking occasionally to check the liquid level. Add a cup of water when needed.
Note: Some friends of mine and I were discussing rice and how much our friends from Asia tend to eat more rice than us Westerners (as a matter of fact, statistics show they eat about 100 lbs of rice a year compared to our measly 10 lbs). We wondered if maybe we should eat more like them. According to Nourishing Traditions, that would be unwise because we have smaller pancreas and salivary glands. We can’t digest rice the same way. For a Westerner, rice needs to stay a ‘once-in-a-while’ dish. Bummer.
Also, if you are trying to keep your glycemic levels down, you want to eat rice in moderation. It’s very high in sugars.
Well, that’s it for this edition of ‘From Scratch’. Come back next Wednesday and I’ll show you how to make your own Cream of Chicken Soup, using up some more of your ‘From Scratch Chicken Stock‘. You won’t believe how easy it is.