Cooking Rice with Other Ingredients

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jonk, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. jonk

    jonk

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    In recipes where I saute a significant amount of veggies in oil, then add uncooked rice (stir to coat), water (or broth), bring to a boil, cover and simmer, I very often find that the rice is not plumped and tender in anything close to the usual 17 to 20 minutes. This persists even if I put a layer of parchment paper over the rice and vegetable mix or if I bake the rice in the oven.

    This occurred just yesterday when I was whipping up a jambalaya. I'm used to it by now, so I allow extra time, but I can't figure out why or if I'm doing something wrong.     

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Couple of thoughts, JonK.

    First, even without veggies, 17 minutes is kind of short for rice. My procedure---which I stole from Moosewood---is to saute the rice is very little oil until it turns chalky. Then pour in the water, cover, and let it come to boil. Turn off the heat and rest 5 minutes. Turn heat back on, bring to boil, lower heat so there is a steady hard simmer, and cook another 25 minutes. The trick is to not uncover it until its done! Comes out perfect every time. But we're looking at 30-35 total minutes. (note: this is for brown rice. With white rice, subtract about 5 minutes from the final boil)

    Second: Are you using enough water? Virtually every "recipe" I've ever seen calls for 1 1/2-2 cups water minimum per cup of rice. My way is on the low side, but, keep in mind, I'm actually steaming it for a period, and I never get a mushy rice.

    Third: What type of rice are you using. Whole brown rice takes longer to cook than polished white.
     
  3. jonk

    jonk

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    Thanks, KY. I am using white basmati in these recipes, for which 1-3/4 cups water to 1 cup rice and 17 to 20 minutes works just fine when flying solo. I usually let it rest for five minutes and fluff. And I do the saute before hand.  (Yes, I know basmati might be overkill in a spicy recipe, but it's our basic house white rice which we buy in 10 lb bags.) 

    My problem, as noted in the first post, is when the rice is cooking with a significant amount of other ingedients, for example onions, peppers, celery, and okra as in the jambalaya  I mentioned.
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    Remember too that while the rice is cooking, so are the vegetables and other items you placed with it. It would seem sensible to speculate that perhaps the cooking time of the rice is longer because of this. I make Jambalaya, Paella, curried rice with chicken livers, etc...and find that to be the case.