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Cooking long grain rice


Pierogi
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OK, I need to come clean.

I was 28, and on my first visit to New Orleans before I realized that I actually liked rice. That, I soon discovered, was because my sainted mother, who (bless her heart) didn't learn to cook until she was in her 40's, served *shudder* Minute Rice all of my growing-up life.

Culinarily advanced as I was at 28 (because, of course, 28-year-olds know everything.......) *I* graduated to Uncle Ben's (hanging head in shame). And I never, ever had a bad pot of rice.

Now, since I'm a gour-may, and I supposedly know better, I've moved on to the regular, non-converted long-grain rice. And basmati. And jasmine. And, finally, after many Asian take-out lunches, short-grain sticky rice.

However, I seem to have lost the ability to cook a decent pot of rice. At least of the long-grain variety. I can still swing basmati and jasmine. And I THOUGHT I had short-grain knocked until tonight.

Blech. Gummy and hard at the same time. Which is pretty much the same problem I'm having with the long-grain. I *think* it's because I'm usually cooking only for me, and so I end up cutting even the smallest quantity on the package in half. For example, for tonight's rice debacle I used 3/4C of the Cal-Rose rice and 1C water, while the package suggested 1.5C rice and 2C water. I did do the math correctly, didn't I ??? (liberal arts major here :blink: no comprende math too much....)

Please don't tell me to get a rice cooker. No counter/cabinet space in my postage-stamp sized kitchen. But save me from a return to Uncle Ben's..........

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I think the standard is double the water: 1 cup rice, 2 cups water. That's what I've always used and it's always been fine. The short grain rice will be sticker and gummier than long grain - the nature of the beast. You can also cook long grain like pasta in boiling water. I don't know if other varieties work this way or not, but the long does.

Stop Family Violence

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Rice for one is rather difficult to get right - even if you have rice cooker! My advice to you is to cook for two then you can save half for fried rice the next day.

If you really have to cook one portion on the stove then use a small pan with a heat diffuser. Wash your one part rice well, boil on medium to high heat with two parts water until the level of water is reaching the top of the rice. Put the heat diffuser on your stove and clamp a lid on the pot, once the diffuser has come up to heat turn the temp to low and let the rice steam gently without fear of the bottom catching. This steaming part should take about ten minutes but the exact timing is wholly dependent on your set-up. When you think your rice is nearly done, fluff it up and let steam for a couple more minutes then serve.

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Okay, to cook a small quantity of rice, you need a small saucepan! I use a 1-quart saucepan.

For short grain rice, add rice to the pan (3/4 cup or 1 cup is fine in this size pan). Add water and swish around with your hand to rinse the rice. Pour off the cloudy water, holding the rice with your hand to keep it from falling out of the pot. Repeat the process once or twice more, until the water runs clear. Add fresh water to about 3/4" above the level of the rice (the standard way to measure is 1 knuckle!). Bring to a fast boil, cover, and turn down heat to low. Cook 17 minutes, then let stand, covered, off the heat for 5 to 10 minutes longer before fluffing the rice to serve.

For long grain rice, add the water (or broth) to the pan first and bring to a boil, then stir in the rice. Bring to a second boil, cover, turn down heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. The proportion is about 1-3/4 cups liquid to 1 cup rice. If there's too much liquid at the end, you can drain it off, or bring to a fast boil, uncovered, and boil off the excess liquid, making sure that the rice doesn't scorch at the bottom.

(If your rice is both gummy and undercooked, it sounds like you're using too much water, and cooking it for too short a time or at too low a heat -- e.g., "keep warm" instead of "low.")

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I had a horrible time with rice for many years..I can cook just about anything but rice kept causing me issue!

I have worked my way through three rice cookers cheap to expensive and hated them all ...

pots pans ..I could not get it right ..Iit would ruin my meal and my mood when I had this perfect dish and a messy glob of crappy rice to serve with it (more often it went in the trash and I would serve tortillas with my curries or whatever :sad: )

one day my girlfriend came over and took matters in hand ..she showed me a couple of great techniques for differing kinds of rice...(we ate a lot of rice that day!) one on one is the best way to learn rice ..(but since we can not do that I hope my note here is clear enough for you to have your own success) and then bought me a cast aluminium pan from a Mexican Market....it looks kind of like a Dutch oven mine is a 2 quart size approx but they have various sizes (like Susy says I agree if you make a little use a smaller pan)

this is a very inexpensive item to buy less than $10 (I think mine was more like $7) I( wish I could post a pic but i have yet to figure that out)

it makes good rice period ...any rice ..short ...long ...medium...my rice icomes out perfectly! this pan is used for nothing else but rice making ...I have even made Persian Chello in it and it made the crust on the bottom better than any other pan that I have used!

Now if you don't want to buy this pot you can still use this method in any pot that is the right size and has a tight fitting lid

heat pan over med high

toss a little oil or butter in the pan

add say 2 cups of long grain rice Mahatma is fine (now you can reduce this and use a small pot as Susy said)

saute the rice just until it turns opague

when this happens turn the heat up to high and right away (before you actually toast the rice) dump in one cup at a time four cups of cold tap water.

stir the entire thing very gently then bring it to a hard boil ..

boil the rice uncovered until allmost all the water is absorbed stir once in a while but with a very gentle hand just to loosen it

when you see the grains of rice poking through the water and it is almost all absorbed turn your burner to the lowest setting ..simmer is good....and cover the pot (if you dont have a tight lid put a small hand towel over the pot and put the lid on that and let it sit on simmer for 15 min

turn the burner off ...leaving the lid on ..do not open it at all yet

and let it sit for another 15 min before removing the lid and fluffing your perfect rice

good luck! hope this helps!

and you have my empathy!!!! as easy as rice seems..it can be a bugger to get right in my opinion but once you do it is second nature!

Oh final note! you can freeze cooked rice! I do this all the time when I have some left over ..then I can add it to soup, make rice pudding or fried rice when I need it ...I also make rice fritters out if it ...

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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My cajun heart warms to the thought that your "rice conversion" happened in Louisiana! I routinely cook just a cup of long-grain rice, and it comes out perfect every time. I use a 2-quart all clad, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, with a rice:water ratio of 1:1.5. Bring the water to a boil, stir in the rice & 1/2 tsp of salt, and clap the lid on promptly. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting; if your stove is electric, you might want to use a heat diffuser. Cook at the lowest setting for 20 minutes, remove from the heat & let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Cooking 1 cup provides several generous servings, with some left over for later in the week. I follow the same procedure for short-grain, jasmine, and basmati, though they require slightly different rice:water ratios.

I think that the crucial element is the pot (must have a thick bottom to evenly distribute heat). I used a 2-quart Le Creuset round french oven last week (my rice pot was in the dishwasher), followed the steps above, and found that the rice was mushy. So you'll need to tweak your recipe slightly for the heat characteristics of your pot & stove.

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Yes, HungryC, my eyes were opened to *many* things that trip to the Big Easy LOL LOL !!! :wink: Food certainly being the most memorable........

Thank you all so much for the info, I think it may be a pot size/quality issue too. But I will absolutely try all your suggestions. They surely can only help !

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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here is a pic of the inexpensive...diffuses heat perfectly and makes perfect rice pot it is cast aluminium ( I have found this in most Mexican and Caribbean markets and it never was over $10)

gallery_51681_4569_1655.jpg

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Hummingbirdkiss, I have definately seen those all over town, and with your explicit directions, should have it knocked (I hope I hope I hope......).

I really also do think that, for a small amount, I was using way too big a pot sometimes. The last debacle for sure. I was using my small saucepan to make *gasp* a sauce, so I used a much much larger pan to make the rice. Because I didn't want to take the time/effort to wash my Calphalon 2-quarter.....

dum dum dum :huh:

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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