Rice is a very versatile food which can be a meal in itself, can be eaten cold as a salad, hot as a pudding or it can be served as a meal accompaniment. Use online recipes to get the most out of your packet of rice and experiment with different rices – long grain, short grain, arborio or risotto rice, pudding rice, brown rice, wild rice and basmati rice.
Here are 4 ways to use rice:-
1. Boiling rice – Rice is a great accompaniment to curry, chilli, casseroles, meat in sauces etc. and can also be used to make rice salads. You can purchase rice cookers or microwave rice steamers which are worth buying if you make a lot of rice.
To boil rice in a pan, first measure out rice and water. A mugful of rice will easily feed two people as a main course accompaniment and you will need twice as much water as rice, two mugfuls of boiling water. Either boil the water in a pan or use a kettle and then pour the water into a medium sized pan. Once the water is boiling, add the rice and a little salt. Bring back to the boil and then turn down to a simmer, place a lid on and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. Different types of rice will take different amounts of time so check the packet. If there is still liquid left after cooking, simmer for a bit longer, until it has been absorbed and serve. Some people like to place their cooked rice into a sieve and pour boiling water over it to rinse it, but this is not necessary.
2. Fried rice – Fried rice can be eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to Chinese dishes. It is a great way of using up leftover rice.
Boil the rice in the usual way and then let it cool. Beat 2 eggs together in a bowl and season. Heat some oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat and add the eggs when the oil is hot. Stir constantly until the eggs are softly scrambled. Add rice and some soy sauce or oyster sauce. Cook until the rice is hot and everything is combined.
For variety, you can fry chopped onion in the pan before adding the eggs and you can also add cooked chicken or cooked, peeled prawns when you add the rice.
3. Risotto – Making a risotto is easy but it does need your constant attention. Look for risotto rice or arborio rice in your supermarket.
Sauté chopped onion in a large, deep frying pan and then add uncooked rice with some mushrooms. Coat the rice in the hot oil and then start adding liquid such as stock or white wine or a mixture of both. Add the liquid a little (a ladle full) at a time and add more when the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir regularly to stop the rice sticking. Once the rice is cooked and creamy (to your taste) add a knob of butter, some grated parmesan cheese and serve.
For variety, you could also add cooked chicken, sausage or prawns, frozen peas or sweetcorn – experiment.
4. Rice Salad – Making a rice salad is a good way of using left over boiled rice and is a great dish to serve at BBQs or to take on a picnic.
You need to either boil some rice and then let it cool, or use leftover rice. Make it the night before you need to serve it so that the rice takes on the flavours of the other ingredients.
Mix the cold, cooked rice with sweetcorn, chopped peppers, chopped chillies, olives, olive oil, crushed garlic, lime or lemon juice and then, just before serving, stir in some grated cheese. You can also do rice salads with chopped pineapple, tuna, beans and pulses, and cashew nuts. Look for rice salad recipes or make your own up.
Roger is a keen amateur chef who works for ‘The Recipe Collection’ internet site.
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