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Brown Rice on Your Table in 60 Seconds

Most of us by now have realized and come to accept, that whole grains are far better for us than white grains, be it flour or rice.  However, sometimes our best intentions are thwarted by lack of time, picky kids, or (dare I say it?) picky grownups.  I’ll be honest.  I sometimes prefer a tuna sandwich on white bread.

Brown rice was hard for me to love, too.  However, I can tell  you now, that I am a converted brown rice lover, and will never go back.  I have discovered the secret to overcoming the two obstacles that are brown rice: flavor and inconvenience.

Though I am sure plenty of you like the taste of brown rice, for me, I always thought the flavor was a little too overpowering, and that the texture was too—well, grainy.  But then my sister introduced me to brown basmati rice.

What a difference!  It is aromatic and mild, yet the flavor is pleasingly complex as well.  It does not compete with the rest of the food it is served with, and when cooked right, the texture is just enough to add to the dish but not overpower it.  It like it for almost everything.

Lundberg makes an excellent brown basmati, but sometimes it’s hard to find, and a bit expensive.  I don’t know about you, but I think $7 for two pounds of rice is a bit on the high side.  For $7, I’d rather buy really good chocolate.  To my great happiness and relief, though, I have discovered that most health food stores sell brown basmati in the bulk section for a very reasonable price.

The only other problem with it—and it’s the same problem with all brown rice—is time. It takes a good sixty minutes to make.  That’s a long time when I usually remember to make it about ten minutes before dinner is on the table.

So here is my solution:

Every once in awhile, I make a large batch of it, let it cool, fluff it up, divide it into smaller portions, and freeze the portions in microwave-safe containers (either zip-loc bags, pyrex dishes with lids, or Gladware).  Whenver I want rice, I simply add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of water (depending on the size of the portion), patially cover it, and microwave it for about a minute, or longer, if it’s a big portion.

To make a large batch of brown rice:

In a large pot combine combine four cups of brown basmati rice with 8 cups of water (or however much you make, just do a 1:2 ratio of rice to water.  Set over high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir.  Reduce heat to low.  When the ric comes to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 50 minutes.  Do not peek!  When the rice has simmered away for fifty minutes, pull the pot off the heat, keep covered, and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.  Cool leftovers and freeze as directed above.

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