Quote from Intro:

"Anyone can cook, and most everyone should. It's a sorry sign that many people consider cooking 'from scratch' an unusual and even rare talent.
In fact, it is a simple and rewarding craft, one that anyone can learn and even succeed at from the get-go."
-Bittman, HTCE

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simpler Baked Brown Rice (Variation)

Recipe: Simpler Baked Brown Rice (variation of Simper-than-Pilaf Baked Rice)
Page: HTCE p. 453
Rating: *****

I've cooked A LOT of brown rice in my day, and I've tried several methods. For a while, my favorite was a Cook's Illustrated version where you baked it, but first, I had to bring some water and butter to a boil, then pour it over the rice in a different pan, then cover the pan with 2 layers of foil, and then I had kids... and any extra pot/step was thrown out with the baby's bath water.

So, I started boiling it and just draining off the extra water at the end. Not bad. In fact, Mark gives us this version somewhere--actually, it's the very first recipe in the grains chapter. And, it's easy and predictable.

But then.... I tried this recipe. And. It's. AMAZING. PERFECT brown rice--distinct grains, good flavor, frees up an eye on the stove, even reheats well. I leave out the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, use the butter, and add 1 t. salt and a sprinkle of pepper per batch. Good news: you can even triple this recipe with the same timing and results!!! I use my Le Creuset wanna-be enameled cast iron 5-quart dutch oven from Aldi so that I have a nice, heavy, tight-fitting lid--that's important so the steam can't escape. I think Mark's liquid allowance is a little generous and may cut it back a touch next time.

Highly recommended!!!