Brown rice, hmmm. Let's be honest, it can't really compete with white rice, can it? Unless of course, you slather it with butter, cheese, bacon and cream, but what would be the point of eating the healthier rice choice with all that added fat and calories?
If you are like me and determined to make the switch to healthier foods, there are a few things you can do to make your brown rice not only palatable, but delicious!
As the direction reads on the package, it tells you to cook your rice in water. Okay sure, that works, but because you are trying to add flavor and richness, instead cook your rice in broth. I use chicken broth, but you could also use beef or vegetable broth. To add even more flavor throw in a sprig of fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme), a bay leaf and a whole garlic clove into your cooking liquid.
Now that you have rice cooking let's add even more flavor. Saute some sliced mushrooms in olive oil with shallots and garlic. When your rice is done fold this in along with some sliced green onions. Don't forget to salt and pepper.
Another option is my newest creation. Halve some cherry or grape tomatoes (7-8 tomatoes for a 1/2 cup uncooked rice) and place in a dry, smoking skillet over high heat, so they start to brown. Then, this is the dangerous part: pour in a 1/4 cup vermouth. Because your pan will be so hot and the vermouth has alcohol in it, it will flambé, or light on fire. (Because of this, please don't pour straight from the bottle!) Don't worry, once the alcohol has been burned off the flame will subside, which should only take a few seconds. Also you could keep a pot lid close by and pop that on your pan when the flame starts. (I added too much vermouth tonight and had a three foot flame going! Eek, I was just a tad nervous when this happended!) Add 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic and cook until liquid has reduced by half. When your rice is done, fold in tomatoes, garlic, vermouth mixture along with some sliced green onions (I like green onions). Salt and pepper and drizzle in some olive oil.
You could also make some fried rice with canadian bacon. frozen corn and peas with onions, garlic and a bit of soy sauce. And it isn't fried rice without scrambled eggs, or egg whites!
Also another huge hint, this is a no brainer: make sure you cook your rice long enough. If there is a bite to you rice, put it back on the stove. It should have a lovely chewy texture. I am a huge fan of sticky rice so I cook mine until the rice grain has popped open. Also try different rice types. There is long grain, basmati and my personal favorite: short grain.
I hope these ideas work out for you. If you have any tricks for brown rice, please post!
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