Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baked Brown Rice

I have a secret.
I don't have a rice cooker. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only non-gluten eating person in the civilized world that doesn't use a rice cooker.  Oh sure, I've thought about getting one. I've read all about them. Ma and I even went shopping for one.  But we decided it was something we could continue to live without.  At least for while.  I'm sure some day we'll get one and wonder how we ever survived without it.  But ignorance is bliss and for now, I'm blissfully ignorant!

This is our rice cooker: 
It's a 3 quart, non-stick Dutch oven by Calphalon. Ma bought it many years ago.
It's the go-to pot for lots of things.

This is how we cook brown rice:
Alton Brown's Baked Brown Rice Recipe
This makes perfect brown rice, every time.

Squeak's Baked Brown Rice
  •  1 1/2 cups brown rice (any variety, I've used long, medium,short, basmatti...)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the oil to a Dutch oven or an oven safe saucepan with a lid.  Add the rice ad saute until it smells warm and nutty.  Add the water and salt or bouillon, bring to a boil.  Cover and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove cover and fluff with a fork.

serves 4-6

Baked Rice Cooking Tips:
  • I use the above pictured Dutch oven for this recipe. It's non-stick so clean-up is a breeze
  • My rice is usually done in about 45-50 minutes.  The first time you make this recipe, you may want to take a  peek at your rice, to see how it's doing.
  • Make a double batch!  Leftover cooked rice keeps very well in the fridge and the freezer.  It reheats beautifully, can be used in cold rice salads and makes the best fried rice! 
  • During the summer, I make a triple batch (in an 8 quart Dutch oven) so I don't have to use the oven so often.  I pack the cooked rice in freezer bags (1 or 2 cups of rice per bag) flatten them out and store them in the freezer.  They can be defrosted, overnight, in the fridge or in the microwave.
  • For added flavor, use chicken, beef or veggie broth instead of water. (You may want to omit the salt if you use broth.)  Or substitute coconut milk for part of the water.  Or add a few sliced scallions, a minced clove of garlic, your favorite herbs, etc.  There are lots of ways to mix it up.

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