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Whole foods are all the rage and brown rice is no exception…it’s a whole grain that is good for you. But many people don’t enjoy the crunchy texture of brown rice, preferring the softness of white rice.
Now there is a lot of argument out there about grains these days. Quinoa has become all the rage and is not a grain at all, but a seed. And while on a one to one analysis of brown rice to quinoa, quinoa wins nutritionally, I think variety is the spice of life, and I don’t want to spend my whole life eating one thing. If you were to look into my pantry, you would find both white and brown Jasmine and Basmati rice, brown and white rice, wild rice, couscous, farro, barley, quinoa…well, you get the idea. It’s a grain (seed) jungle in there.
And don’t even get me started on all the mustards I have :-).
Brown rice is rice that still has the “bran” on. This is what many people don’t like. The bran doesn’t allow the water to completely absorb and soften the rice. This recipe for Twice Cooked Brown Rice makes a brown rice that is softer in texture. All the benefits, with none of the crunch. It’s really the secondary cooking that gives the soft texture…steaming it. This allows the rice to really absorb the moisture and get nice and tender.
In this recipe, I also boil the rice in an abundance of water, much like you would pasta. It’s the way my mother always made rice, simply draining it into a colander after it was ready. Her method always yielded a perfectly cooked rice, all the grains separate. The method of cooking rice as most instructions tell you to, 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid, cover and allow to cook until the rice absorbs all the water gives you “sticky” rice. This is great if you want sticky rice, but there are times I like my rice kernels to be separate.
Not all stuck together. Cooking rice as you would pasta gives you that result.
Bring the water to a boil in a 4 - 5-quart pot; add salt and rice. Give it a good stir. Once the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked. Drain into a sieve. Place 2 cups water back into the pot; bring to a boil. Place the sieve over the boiling water, (it is best if the sieve fits nicely into the pot); cover and steam 10 minutes. Put rice into a serving dish, fluff with a fork, add butter and parsley, if using, and serve.
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