Thursday, April 7, 2011

About Rice

"Preacher Ben, despite adversity
saved a southern University
Said his nephew, ain't that nice
Uncle Ben's converted Rice"

Now I love the place, spent many doped up and beery hours there, majoring in sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. But there has to be more than plain white on rice.

The first thing is the liquid. Rice is cooked (white, brown, wild, or zebra-striped) at 2 parts liquid to 1 part dry.

That means you don't need a bunch of graduated cylinders to cook it. It would help if you had some idea of the actual size of the beer mugs in the freezer (that's where I keep mine, what are you, nykulturny?), so as to figure volumes for prepared rice (like the stuff in tubes or boxes)

First way to improve rice is by using better liquor. Down, boy! in cooking, liquor just means the cooking liquid. It's French, it doesn't have to make sense.

Lemme introduce you to KnorrSuisse. Where I grew up it was pronounced as a single word. The Brits call 'em "stock cubes", and they come in all sorts of flavors: beef, chicken, shrimp, tomato, squid, and God knows what else. Yes, I have seen squid flavored KnorrSuisse cubes, and so there, Oh, and vegetable, chili and onion, and garlic.

These are VERY salty. If you use one don't ad salt to the rice. Adding salt to rice is done for 2 reasons - to add salt, and to equalize atmospheric pressure. Seriously. There are physics involved. But if you live near sea level just forget about it. OK?

If you're GOOD WITH A KNIFE you might think about doing a quick browning of some onion, or maybe a fast sautee of onion and peppers before you add the rice and water. You'll need to cut into small enough pieces that they will all cook at the same time. If you add mushrooms, then you're in danger of making a risotto. Please, don't do that yet. Plus, mushrooms are so full of water that they throw the proportions way the fuck off.

You know what I forgot? Carrots. You know why? 'Cause they're part of the Holy Trinity. And you should know about those already.

So you've got a base of some sort. You don't have to be fancy all the time, but basic cooked rice is to tell you the truth prison food. You have to have roughly 2 parts water to 1 part rice, plus enough to make it edible.

Here's what I like: About one small handful each of frozen peas, carrots, and corn. With a KnorrSuisse Caldo de Tomate cube. Good as a side, better under an etufee o creole, or Fra Diavlo

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