While making pork chops the other night, I needed a good side dish. I was out of cheese, so my usual go-to Macaroni and Cheese was out of the question, plus I wanted something kinda colorful.
(... and if I'm being fair, I wasn't *completely* out of cheese, just out of the stuff to grate up. I hate using pre-shredded cheese for Mac & Cheese because it never melts up quite right for a smooth sauce ... but maybe I'll go over that another time.)
Enter the tomato-herb rice I ended up conjuring - it even got the Husband Seal Of Approval, so you know it's gotta be good. LOL
Now I used to HATE making rice because I could never get it right. Either it burned it to the bottom of the pan OR it was still crunchy. I don't own a rice maker (cuz I'm cheap and folks made rice for thousands of years just fine), and figured I must be missing something.
Well, I was - TOASTING THE RICE! Seriously, such a simple step at the beginning makes a HUGE difference in how the rice turns out. Here's how I did it:
Roughly 2 tablespoons of butter, melted in my saucepan then one cup of plain white rice. Stir. Constantly. Do not falter! Do not step away. If someone is dying ask them to call 911 their damn selves - constant stirring is CRUCIAL! First the rice will start to look translucent, then opaque...
... And then it will start to brown. When all (or the vast majority) of the rice bits look like they're brown, toasting is done.
Add 2 cups of water (the first one you add will do this fun insta-boil thing with a nifty WSHHHHH noise - possibly one of my favorite parts of this process).
If you've read any of my other posts, you know I'm a Knorr Bullion kinda gal - and this recipe is no exception. This time I chose the Tomato Chicken Bullion - stuff is fantastic!
Also, if you've read any of my other posts, you know I don't really "measure" stuff - but I'd guestimate about 1 tsp of bullion per cup of water I use (cuz ratios) got added. Then it was time to choose the herbs.
Garlic, onion, sage, seasoning salt - and that's it. I like to keep flavor profiles similar to whatever the main dish is (in this case the pork had all of those, plus oregano and pepper) so they complement each other. I added the herbs, brought it to a boil, stirred, dropped the burner down to med-low, and covered the rice.
I read somewhere that you're not supposed to stir the rice while it's cooking because that'll make it clump up funny and have a bad texture. Personally, I ignore that rule, but your mileage may vary. I don't stir a lot, but every now and again.
Usually I watch for the pits to just start forming - little divots where the water boils through the rice.
Once I see those, I give it one more stir, turn off the burner, and put the lid back on, letting it set for another 10 minutes or so covered, so the rice can finish cooking and sucking up all the water.
And then that's pretty much it.
If you wanna try it on your own, here's the ROUGH breakdown of ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup rice
2 cups water
2 tsp Knorr Tomato Chicken Bullion
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp garlic granules
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
Lemme know how it turns out! Happy Fooding!