Have I ever told you about the time I cooked 16 cups of rice?
Well then, get ready for a good laugh.
I think it was about three years ago, I volunteered to bring Mexican rice to a party on my husband’s side. Sure, there’s nothing to it I thought. It’s only rice. I’ve made Mexican rice plenty of times, so this should be a piece of cake, right? Yeah, no. It wasn’t.
In my head, I figured two cups of rice is plenty for a family of four, so if there are going to be at least four families at this party, then I should make 8 cups of rice. Made sense to me! What I neglected to calculate, was the size of the pot I should use for 16 cups of water, and the fact that that much rice will more than double.
So there I am, toasting my rice, happy to be contributing to the menu.
I pour the water, seasoning, and tomato sauce in. Stir…cover…and walk away. I come back 15 minutes later and OMG!!!!! The rice isn’t close to being done and it’s about to reach the rim of the pot. Crap! So then I start to tell myself….it’s too soon anyway, just wait, give it more time, it needs more time. So I walk away again. Another 15 minutes later I return…nope. CRAP!
Thinking there’s still hope, I move it all into a bigger pot in hopes that it will finish cooking.
The realization that this rice was now a disaster, came with each scoop as I transfered it into the bigger pot. It began with a little bit of hope, and ended in tragedy. Cooked rice on the outside, completely raw in the middle, and no flavor or color at the bottom. In the end, I had a big ass pot of cooked red, soggy light pink, and raw white rice. In one pot.
All I kept saying to myself was…ay EStephanie, what were you thinking?!
Needless to say, the rice didn’t make it to the party that day. Oh, and I also got laughed at by the women at the party when I told them what happened. My husband still makes fun of me to this day, we both just laugh about it. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson that day. NEVER EVER make 8 cups of rice in a 6 quart pot. What a silly goose.
Since then, I’ve gotten better at small batches of rice. Like the one I’m sharing today!
A Lemon and Cilantro white rice, steamed to perfection.
You might have noticed there’s no salt in the ingredients. That’s because I used the same Maggi bouillon seasoning that I used in the smoked ribs recipe a while back. It has become my favorite choice of bouillon for rice because it has enough flavor to omit salt all together.
Chop the cilantro, mince the garlic and scallion.
Cover completely and leave it alone. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat to LOW. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Let it cook covered for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, quickly take a small spoonful of the rice and taste it to check its texture. When you take off the lid for this, try not to remove the lid completely. You want to keep as much of the steam in the pan as possible. Open it just enough to stick the spoon in there and take a little to taste, then close it right back up. If the rice has a slight crunch still, continue to cook another 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it rest 10 minutes covered before serving.
Lemon and Cilantro Rice
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 scallion minced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tsp Maggi bouillon
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
In a medium pan (I used a 10″) on medium heat, warm the butter just to start melting it. Add the scallion, garlic, cilantro, Maggi bouillon and the lemon juice. Stir it all together well until the bouillon has completely dissolved.
Add the rice, stir everything well, then add all the water and stir well to remove any clumps of rice. Cover completely and leave it alone.
As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat to LOW. DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Let it cook covered for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, quickly take a small spoonful of the rice and taste it to check its texture. When you take off the lid for this, try not to remove the lid completely. You want to keep as much of the steam in the pan as possible. Open it just enough to stick the spoon in there and take a little to taste, then close it right back up. If the rice has a slight crunch to the bite, continue to cook another three minutes, then turn off the heat and let it rest 10 minutes covered before serving.
Fluff the rice with a fork just before serving.