I promise I could eat rice cooked like this every day, only swapping the ‘bits’ added to it and the seasoning. It’s perfect every time.
I found this recipe while browsing for all things rice; I adore rice but am often puzzled by it. So many varieties and each needs to be cooked differently. Risotto rice, Arborio or Carnaroli, fat and short grains have to be coaxed gently into al dente-ness by stirring the pot forever. Paella rice grain is stocky too but the method couldn’t be more different: once submerged in stock, don’t touch it with a spoon. And then there are the Persians with the elusive tahdig, the rice crust forming – or not, as mostly in my experience – at the bottom of the pan.
Sometimes you should wash it (jasmine) and other times not (glutinous). There are weird ancient methods of cooking by wrapping the pot of rice in a blanket overnight. There is rice pudding even though most of us prefer to deny its existence. And what about rice crispies! Plus there’s basmati, brown, wild and red rice, and you never know how long each variety should be cooked.
That’s why I simply love this method: baking rice in the oven, with or without ‘bits’. Diana Henry’s recipe is the basis here, and the method really is fool proof. It works for white, brown, red and wild rice, the last three just needing slightly longer oven time.
With the ‘bits’, in this instance shrimp, greens and cheese – and let nobody tell you that the three plus rice don’t go with one another – it’s a main course dish. But it can easily be served as a side, sans shrimp, or greens or cheese as you desire. The amount below will then serve four easily.