Sunday, March 22, 2015

Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice

This may not look like a very exciting recipe to some people, but honestly it's one of my favorites. Over the last couple of years I have grown to absolutely love brown rice. It is extremely healthy, it's super versatile and I think it's absolutely delicious. If you've ever looked up directions on how to make brown rice, you may have noticed that there are so many different methods. Each with it's own ratio of water to rice. Now I'm sure most of them will turn out a fine batch of brown rice, I personally am not too picky as long as it's cooked through. However, once I found this recipe I never turned back. Not only does it turn out a perfect pan of brown rice every time, it also makes a really nice big batch so I can have it on hand all week long. This is the only recipe I ever use so I wanted to share it in case anyone else is looking for a foolproof method of cooking brown rice. Well look no further, this is it. 

My favorite part of this recipe is the fact that it's baked in the oven, not cooked on the stovetop. This means I throw it in the oven and can completely forget about it for the next hour. It does take the whole hour to cook, so if you need something at the last minute, this isn't going to work. But you only need to think ahead a little bit and you can have fresh, perfectly cooked brown rice on the table for dinner. 

The actual hands on time in this recipe is so minimal making it super easy and quick to throw together. You can get the rest of your meal ready while it cooks, or get a couple of chores done, whatever. I also make this rice ahead a lot so that it will be ready for me when I need it. Sprinkled with a little water for moisture and zapped in the microwave for a couple of seconds and it's pretty much as good as new! If you couldn't already tell, I highly recommend adding this simple recipe to your repertoire. I can guarantee that you'll use it over and over again.  

Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice
Adapted from A Veggie Venture, originally from Cook's Illustrated

  • 1 1/2 cups long-, medium- or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch square baking dish or similar size casserole dish with lid. Add salt and give it a quick mix. 

Bring water and butter or oil to boil; once boiling, immediately pour water over rice. Alternatively, bring a kettle to boil. Once boiling, measure out 2 1/3 cup and pour over rice. Cover baking dish tightly with a layer of aluminum foil or place lid on top of casserole dish and place in oven. Bake rice 1 hour, until tender.

Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with dinner fork, then recover dish and let rice stand 5 minutes. Uncover and let rice stand 5 minutes longer; serve. 

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