Spruce Up Your Favoride Side Dish: Rice

Richard focuses on making rice your star side dish

Rice is the featured dish on this weeks Culinary Nunnsense.
Thank you to all of you who have sent in questions about this starchy side dish. Many of you have said you are tired of plain ol' buttered rice and wanted some new options. One of you, and you know who you are, said you were trying to make Fried Rice and not only did it not taste good, but the first attempts burned and stuck to the pan.
Well, today I am here to help. Today is the day that rice gets a flavor boost and you get "take out" flavor at home. And since the rice question was number one from you, I am giving you two delicious and easy recipes to experiment with. That's right, now that boring white rice can become a star side dish at your next meal and after everyone thanks you for the tasty treat, you too will say there is Nunn better.
Fried Rice: Remember recipes are to taste...kind of like color by numbers...the color and flavors are up to you...and your kids.
1 medium onion, halved from pole to pole; each half cut into 6 wedges
4 to 6 ounces meat of choice, cooked or raw, cut into bite-size pieces
4 to 6 ounces vegetable of choice, cooked or raw, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups cooked rice
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced

While recipes are easily changed, the directions for cooking are not. Read these and follow them closely
1. Set a heavy-bottomed 12-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet over low heat while preparing meat, vegetable, garlic, and eggs. Marinate the meat in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Three to four minutes from making the fried rice, increase the heat to high and turn on the exhaust fan.

2. Put 1 tablespoon of oil and the onion in the skillet; stir-fry until the onion is still crisp but starts to turn brown, about 1 minute. Add the raw meat or vegetable; stir-fry until crisp-tender for vegetables or lightly browned for meat, about 1 minute. Add the cooked meat or vegetable; stir-fry until lightly browned, about 1 minute longer. (If both meat and vegetables are raw or cooked, stir-fry the meat first, giving it a little head start.) Stir in the garlic, then transfer the mixture to a plate; set aside.

3. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the skillet; heat until shimmering. Add the rice; stir-fry, breaking up clumps, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the egg; stir until scrambled, about 1 minute. Return the meat/vegetable mixture, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and the scallions, to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Coconut, Ginger Rice
To make this dish really stand out, buy 2 cans of coconut milk. Drain the liquid and keep the thick stuff for a big blast of flavor. DO NOT SHAKE THE CANS!
2 cups jasmine rice
1 cup coconut cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Rinse rice in a large bowl with cool water until water runs clear. Drain rice. This will help make for a fluffy rice. The coconut is sticky. If you skip the rinse part, it will still be good, just a little clumpy.

Combine rice, coconut cream, sugar, salt, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then cover and reduce heat to low. (Alternatively, cook rice in an electric rice steamer.) Cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 40–45 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork; cover and let sit for 20 minutes.

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