Wednesday, August 25, 2010
My hang-up with brown rice is that it takes twice as long (or more) to cook than regular rice. Usually, I just take the easy route and go with the white stuff, but this dish compels me to go through the extra trouble. I try to convince myself that it's healthy, since it's made with brown rice and all. We'll just conveniently overlook the four tablespoons of butter in there.
I made this the other day to go with Jaden's beef with broccoli, which you have to try. It will forever change your thinking about oyster sauce. Then I made it to accompany the curry chicken and broccoli casserole that is my husband's most requested dish. Heaven! But really, my favorite way to eat this rice is straight up, by the forkful, while I'm setting the table and getting the rest of dinner ready.
1 1/2 cups brown rice
4 tbsp butter
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 slivered red onion
2 cloves garlic
6 or 7 fresh basil leaves
Yield: 6 servings
Begin by measuring the 3 1/2 cups water and keep it close by for the time you'll need to add it to the rice. I find that it's easier for me to have it on hand at the beginning, than to risk burning the rice while measuring water. (Learned that the hard way.)
To brown the rice, put it and two tablespoons of the butter in a large sauce pan, on high heat. I like to use a large pan so that the uncooked rice lays no thicker than 3/4ths of an inch when placed in the pan.
This provides enough surface area for the water to effectively soak into the rice in time. If the pot is too small and the rice is too deep, the water will pool at the bottom and you'll have uncooked rice soup when the time is up. (Learned that the hard way, too.)
Stir the rice constantly as it browns in the butter to prevent it from scorching. Saute until it's lightly browned, like so,
then immediately pour in the water. It will instantly begin to boil. Turn the heat down to medium low (a 3 out of 10 on my electric stove top).
Stir in one teaspoon of salt, put the lid on, and set a kitchen timer for 45 minutes. Once the time is up, keep the lid on and turn the heat off. Let the rice sit for five more minutes before removing the lid.
While the rice is cooking, sliver the red onion.
Prepare the basil and garlic and set aside, to be added to the sauteed onions in the final stages.
Rinse the basil leaves, pat them dry, and then loosely bunch them together to chop them.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the onions when the butter begins to bubble.
Gently stir to coat the onions with butter, then let the onions lightly caramelize for a few minutes by disturbing them as little as possible, but move them around enough to keep them from burning. Turn the heat down if the butter is turning brown.
Continue to saute the onions, periodically stirring them to keep them from burning, until they begin to turn golden brown on the edges.
Once the onions have softened and are somewhat translucent, stir in two cloves of minced garlic and saute for a minute or two more to gently cook the garlic.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil.
When the rice is finished, fold the onion mixture into the rice.
Garnish with a little fresh basil, and pat yourself on the back for making something so healthy. (Butter? What butter? I don't see half a stick of butter in this.)