” Why can’t I get the paella to be ‘loose’? How many times do I have to cook risotto so that it doesn’t stick to me? ”
If you have asked yourself any of these questions on more than one occasion, I think I can help you.
Although making a good rice dish is not difficult, I recognize that getting the hang of it can take time (and hours in the kitchen), since rice, unlike other dishes, cannot be done by eye.
I am going to give you some tips to avoid the most common mistakes and get your rice to become a RICE!
To wash or not to wash the rice, that is the question
- The first thing you have to know is that rice contains a lot of starch, but not all contain the same amount and therefore, it is not advisable to wash its grains in all cases.
- The amount of starch will directly influence how our rice will look; creamy, loose, dry or sticky. Keep in mind that when washing the rice it loses density.
- So if you want the rice to be loose and al dente (as in paella), washing it can help you achieve a great result, but if, on the contrary, you need creaminess in your rice (risotto, rice pudding ) rinsing it can play in against you, as you would lose the dose of starch you need to get this point.
- Remember that medium or long grain rices (basmati, jasmine …) have less starch than round grain rices or arborio rice.
The casserole matters A lot!
- In the kitchen everything adds up, the quality of the raw material and of course, the utensils with which you usually prepare your dishes. So although I am sure that this is something you already knew, it does not hurt to advise you, first of all, get a good pot to get the proper cooking of your rice.
- Not the same thing paella a soupy rice . So for the first, we will use a low pot with a low height, and for the second, a pot with a medium height.
- If you are one of those who prepare rice one day, yes, and another one too, you can get a rice cooker. It will allow you to get the rice to be always in its place in a very simple way, and by programming it, you will have your plate of freshly made rice when you get home.
Not all the forest is oregano, nor are all rice dishes the same
- Long grain, basmati, whole grain, round, steamed, wild, arborio … Each type of rice is different and not all are suitable for preparing the same recipes.
- For example, long grain rice, wild or brown, are ideal for fresh dishes, rice salads and side dishes. The round, however, is perfect for cooking a soupy rice with both vegetables, meat or seafood and, of course, it is the quintessential grain for making a delicious paella.
- The arborio is the one we use to get the risotto to its point, and the sushi one, obviously, is the one we should have on hand when we feel like a bit of oriental cuisine.
- For these reasons, I recommend that once you have decided on the variety of rice you want to prepare, find out as much information as possible so that the result is what you want. I leave you some tips that could help you .
Your rice needs time
- Although it may seem basic, sometimes we skip this important step: you must get the rice out a tad before and let it take a breather, to aerate.
- Patience may not be your thing, but I assure you that if you let your rice sit for five to thirty minutes, both your stomach and that of your guests will know how to appreciate it.
- During these extra minutes, the humidity will be distributed throughout the rice and we will get the grain to be loose.
Don’t lift the lid!
- If you do this, it will take much longer for the rice to cook properly and you can also contaminate it.
- The normal ratio of rice to water (one cup of rice to two cups of water) will change immediately when you lift the lid, so your plate may get dry. My advice (except when you add other ingredients) is not to remove it and leave it alone.
If after this you still think that rice is not for you or it is boring or tasteless, I encourage you to try it in another of its variants that you do not yet know.
For me it is a fundamental food both as a garnish in a fish or meat dish, as in salads or traditional stews. Its versatility and easy preparation make it one of the kitchen essentials.
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