Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fool's Rice (p.19)

I'm not ashamed to say that I usually make boil in a bag rice in the microwave. Ok, well, I'm a little ashamed, but I also don't eat rice all that often. Usually, I'm just making it to have with a stir-fry. But, I'm always looking for ways to class up the joint and real rice seems like a good way to start.

Fool's Rice is brought to us by Pat. Pat is a dick. I apologize for the language (sorry Mom and Grandma!), but there really is no better way to describe him. Pat's a cat who is strictly, militantly vegan and seems mad at the world for not conforming to his ideals. He even yells at you in this recipe, making sure you don't touch the damn pot until he tells you to. This is actually something I've been learning as I cook- It's ok to leave things alone for a while. My instincts are to move food around in the pan a lot. You know, to feel like I'm doing something. But as I've found when I make crab cakes or pan fried chicken or fish, the best way to get a nice even crisp on the outside while cooking the inside is to set it in the pan, leave it alone, and flip it once. This ranks up there with "most things don't need to be cooked on higher than a medium heat" with rules I've learned from stainless steel cookware.

Anyway, the rice. I followed the directions, put the lid on and left it alone. Almost instantly the pot boiled over. I had already lowered the heat, I guess the aluminum core in the pan just didn't cool fast enough. Oh well, it was just a little boil over and didn't cause too much of a mess. When it was ready, I fluffed and served. We were having a tofu stir-fry (partly to celebrate Pat's vegan roots and partly because we always make tofu stir-fry). What can I say? It was some of the best rice I've ever had. Maybe because it was Pat, and I expected such an unpleasant character's recipes to be unpleasant, but I was not expecting such fluffy, creamy rice. And the use of olive oil instead of butter was a tasty, healthy alternative. The rice was so good that it really overshadowed the rest of the stir-fry, which was a first. It may take a little more time, but I'm pretty sure this just replaced boiling bags as my preferred method of rice preparation. Now, the recipe said that no rice would stick to the pot, and while no actual rice grains did, it did leave a white, gummy residue on the pan. Maybe this is expected. I don't know, and I don't really care. It rinsed right out after a vinegar soak (standard for my stainless steel after cooking).

"But, Eli," you're saying, "where's the pictures?" It was rice. You've seen rice before, right? That's what it looked like. Just imagine that. Ok, I'm done. See you tomorrow.


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