Every cook should have a go-to method for cooking common side dishes, because we make them all the time. When you’re making mashed potatoes, there isn’t really a recipe, although there are many tips for best results (I have a whole post dedicated to Mashed Potatoes). Rice is different, though. When I found a way to cook rice that worked every single time and had perfect results, I didn’t mess with it. Of course, I have many variations of rice, but the main recipe is always the same. For the perfect white rice recipe, click here.
We love long grain basmati rice the best in our family and most of the time, white rice is the one we buy. Brown rice is so much healthier though, so I was determined to find a perfect method for cooking brown rice too. I tried many different methods – slow cooker, stovetop. The results were ok, but I wasn’t too impressed. What’s the point of healthy food if you have to force yourself to eat it? Our main issue with the brown rice was how unevenly it cooked. It would turn out clumpy, sticky and still have some grains that were hard and undercooked. How is that possible? Mushy and undercooked in one pot? Finally, one day I tried this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, and we have a winner! It’s incredibly easy and the rice cooks so evenly, with every grain perfectly cooked and so fluffy. The nutty, chewy and “earthy” flavor and texture of brown rice is really awesome. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it. This recipe really is foolproof. It does take much longer to cook than white rice, which is why I like making a big batch. But come on, there’s hardly any work at all!
Since I like to add things to rice all the time, I’m including a Zucchini and Garlic version. You can skip the zucchini and just add some sautéed onions (or shallots, leeks, etc), garlic and herbs. You can also use a carrot instead of the zucchini. Once you start experimenting, there’s no stopping. Bell peppers, corn, peas, spinach, kale, sun dried tomatoes – they will all be delicious. …