I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with cooking rice on the stove top using the pilaf method — sauteing aromatics in fat, adding the rice and toasting, adding liquid and simmering, covering the pot and crossing fingers that it absorbs the liquid and softens before dinner is served.
Sometimes I nail it, and it’s well seasoned, perfectly cooked, with separate, fluffy grains of rice. Sometimes I don’t, and it’s undercooked, underseasoned, or both. To compensate, more liquid is added, then then it’s mushy. Are we twinning right now?!
Lately, I’ve been using the best parts of the pilaf method (sauteing aromatics and toasting the rice), combined with the pasta method. This hybrid not only delivers a flavorful rice every time, it’s also perfectly cooked every time.
Using the pasta method is exactly how it sounds — the rice is cooked in a pot full of boiling water that has been seasoned with plenty of sea salt, and stirred occasionally until the rice is al-dente or the desired consistency. If you like it softer, let it cook a little longer. If you like your rice “toothier,” drain it sooner. There’s no finger crossing with this method. It’s perfect every time.
The cook time will depend on the type of rice you’re using. My favorites for their sweeter, nuttier flavors, are Basmati or Jasmine rice, which will cook in about 15-ish minutes. Depending on what the rice is being paired with, I prefer to use half water and half chicken stock for my boiling liquid, but vegetable stock, beef stock, or just plain water work well, too.Print
Fresh cilantro and lime zest add zing to this classic rice side kick. Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free.
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. salted butter
- 3/4 cup organic long-grain, white rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp. gray sea salt
- zest of 3 large limes
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
- In a medium saucepan heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add rice, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 60 seconds.
- Stir in chicken stock, water, and salt. Increase heat to high, bring to boiling. Reduce to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until rice is al-dente, about 15-18 minutes.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, drain rice like you would for pasta; return rice to pan.
- Stir in cilantro and lime zest. Season with additional salt or fresh lime juice.
- Serve warm, or refrigerate, covered, up to 7 days.