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How to make perfect rice every time, plus a recipe for rice with roasted cauliflower

Boiling the rice in extra water removes excess starch from the rice, which washes away when the water is drained. It's a simple trick, but try it once and you might never cook rice any other way again. And you never have to worry about the pan going dry...

For many of us, cooking rice involves ratios — adding a certain amount of water to a given measurement of rice — so that as the rice cooks, the water is slowly absorbed or evaporates until it’s gone. When everything works perfectly, the rice is tender. But screw something up, and the rice either turns into a gooey sludge or a burnt mess on the bottom of the pan.

Why bother with ratios when you can simply cook rice like pasta, in a large pot of boiling water?

Boiling the rice in extra water removes excess starch from the rice, which washes away when the water is drained. It's a simple trick, but try it once and you might never cook rice any other way again. And you never have to worry about the pan going dry before the rice is done.

This recipe, from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc restaurant in Yountville, Calif., also calls for drying the rice for just a few minutes in a hot oven to fully separate the grains. After the rice is cooked, it's tossed with roasted cauliflower that has been flavored with a little curry powder, chile flakes and chopped green onion. The dish is finished with a drizzle of melted butter for added richness.

AD HOC'S RICE WITH ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 8 to 10

1/2 head white cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tablespoons canola oil

Salt

Jonathan Gold on the secret, super spicy Jazz burger at Jitlada Caption Jonathan Gold on the secret, super spicy Jazz burger at Jitlada

Jonathan Gold dishes on the Jazz burger, an off-menu item at Jitlada in Thai town, a site of pilgrimage for spicy food lovers.

Jonathan Gold dishes on the Jazz burger, an off-menu item at Jitlada in Thai town, a site of pilgrimage for spicy food lovers.

The Walker Inn: Malibu cocktail Caption The Walker Inn: Malibu cocktail

Lead bartender, Katie Emmerson, at The Walker Inn located at the back of the Normandie Club talks about the Malibu cocktail.

Lead bartender, Katie Emmerson, at The Walker Inn located at the back of the Normandie Club talks about the Malibu cocktail.

Pepper

Pinch of curry powder

6 cups water

1 cup Carolina, or long grain, rice

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the canola oil and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste.

3. Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan (reserve the bowl) and roast until the cauliflower is a deep brown and tender throughout when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing every few minutes for even coloring and cooking. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees.

4. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the rice: In a large saucepan, add the water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and chile flakes and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice just until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the rice well, then spread the rice in a thin shallow layer in a large baking dish.

5. Place the rice in the oven to dry out for 5 minutes. Remove, then stir in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper.

6. Place the cauliflower back in the bowl and toss with the curry powder. Taste and season, if desired, with additional salt and pepper.

7. Gently stir in the warmed rice and butter, tossing until the butter is melted and evenly coats the rice and cauliflower. Stir in the green onions and serve immediately.

Each of 10 servings: 136 calories; 2 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 6 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 68 mg. sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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Source:   latimes

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