Wednesday, July 16, 2008

23. Foolproof Long-Grain Rice (p. 254)

Before I started The Project, I had a few doubts. Can I really do this? Am I up to the task? After all, I can't even cook rice! I'm not kidding. Rice and me have not been friends. Whenever I make it, I study the package directions and follow them carefully. But the result is always the same: Dissapointment. Overcooked, undercooked, soupy, and sometimes crunchy. Come on, this is a basic item! If I can't cook this, what makes me think that I can cook the gastronomic delicacies in The Book?

But when Lisa, one of the finalists on Top Chef, botched her rice (not once, but twice!), I was reassured. It's not just me! If the pros have a hard time with this, then I'm in good company.

So, when I saw this recipe in The Book for "Foolproof Long-Grain Rice," I perked up. Can it be true? Have the folks at Gourmet really discovered a foolproof way to cook rice? Well, they have, and the rice came out great.

The cooking method is not what you're used to doing if, like me, you follow the package directions. I kept reading and re-reading the recipe in disbelief as I went through the steps. Do they really want me to do it like that? First you bring the rice, water and salt (in very specific proportions) to a boil. Then, in a break with tradition, you continue to let it boil (uncovered! who ever heard of such a thing?) for a while. Then you reduce the heat and steam it for a time. Finally, you take it off the heat and let it rest, all the while letting it be as it does its thing. The result? Rice perfection. The grains were tender, fluffy and just a little bit sticky.

My only complaint is that the rice was a bit too salty. Next time I make this (and I will make this again, every time I serve rice) I'll reduce the salt by half and see what happens. Who knows, maybe that's the secret to the perfect cooking? We'll see.

Date Cooked: July 13, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: A- (perfectly cooked, but too salty)

1 comment:

Kiki said...

I would hardly consider Lisa "good company"!