Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So dang smart

The first meal I served for our family reunion was the golden chicken curry that I’ve already told you about. I figured it would be a fast, nourishing, one-pot meal, something that the kids would like and that could be kept warm on the stove so people could eat whenever they ended up arriving. I made a double batch of the curry and then two kinds of rice: three cups of white rice cooked on the stove top and three cups of brown rice baked in the oven.


It was the first time I had ever baked rice like that and I wasn’t too sure it would turn out right. But I only have one kettle that does a good job cooking rice, and Cousin Zoe had said that it tasted really good, so I decided to go ahead and risk our dinner for the sake of convenience.

Which in retrospect is a really silly thing to say because that pan of brown rice made the best brown rice I’d ever eaten, I do declare, do I.


Each grain of rice was light and fluffy, nutty and toothsome, with not a trace of mushy gummy-ness to be found anywhere. I was thrilled.

Apparently everyone else was too, because it got eaten right up, at the same speed as the white rice. And then I had to make another pot of rice (white this time, for convenience and speed) because more guests were due to arrive and we had nary a grain of cooked rice left in the house.

The downside of this recipe is the extended hot oven time, but that could be a good thing, if, say, it’s winter and your house is on the chilly side and you’re looking for a good excuse to crank up the oven. Or, perhaps you're baking an accompanying side dish anyway and it makes perfect sense to bake the rice alongside. Or, and this will put you in league of Amazing Kitchen Goddess, you bake this any time you are baking something else, be it baked oatmeal or spinach quiche or rhubarb cream pie, even though you’re not planning to eat rice right at that very exact moment—just stick it in the fridge after it has cooled and smile like an imp because you are so dang smart.


Baked Brown Rice
From my Cousin Zoe’s blog Whole Eats and Whole Treats

The chicken broth is optional but it does add such a lovely flavor, not to mention a nutritional boost.

3 cups brown rice
5 cups chicken broth or water, or a mixture
2-4 teaspoons butter
2-3 teaspoons salt

Combine everything and pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

This same time, years previous: strawberry spinach salad, garden tales, part one, raspberry-mint tea, lemon-rhubarb chicken

7 comments:

  1. Does the rice become very dry and cruchy because of the length of cooking time and heat? This seems to be a base for many variations; I think some chopped veggies and herbs are in order, such as quartered cherry tomatoes, cubbed meunster (cheese is eaten as often as veggies should be eaten in my household), and finely chopped herbs. Yum!

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  2. I started baking rice, both brown and white, a while back and have never stopped - it's so perfect and so convenient. I use a pyrex casserole with a glass lid that does not fit exactly tightly, and I think this helps the rice to be fluffy at the end.

    The only problem I ever had was starting with more than 2 cups of dry rice - it didn't cook in the hour I allotted, probably because the quantity of water didn't get hot enough fast enough.

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  3. I've been so scared to try it! I'm afraid I'll burn it. I just need to do it.

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  4. BROWN RICE IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO-SO SAYS THE U OF M WHERE I BRING MY GRANDSONS TO BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY EARLY ON-SET DIABETIC-IT REALLY IS TRUE WHAT THEY TALK ABOUT IN THE VIDEO "FOOD INC"THAT THE FOOD MANUFACTURES REALLY HAVE RUINED THE FOOD PROCESS-HOW WE GROW IT BUY IT ETC.BROWN RICE HELPS YOUR BLOOD SUGARS STAY AT A CERTAIN LEVEL AND KEEPS YOU FILLED UP LONGER

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  5. I'm making this and your golden curry tomorrow. My mouth is watering just thinking about it and I just ate a large bowl of chili!

    I'm glad the rice was a success!

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  6. SO funny - I just wrote a post on curry to put up tomorrow! It must be in the air. YUM.

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  7. I often bake my rice if there's room in the oven alongside another dish of some kind. It is so EASY and does not burn as easily as cooking it does.

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