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Creole-Style Boiled Rice

 

 

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  The Belle Creole At New Orleans
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Creole-Style Boiled Rice

Commander's Kitchen: Take Home the True Tastes of New Orleans with 200 Recipes from Commander's Palace Restaurant
Commander's Kitchen:
Take Home the True Tastes of New Orleans
with 200 Recipes from Commander's Palace Restaurant

by Ti Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon
2000, Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  

“Rice is the major staple of Louisiana cooking, and it’s always called boiled
rice, not steamed rice, probably because you keep the water boiling. With so
many meandering rivers, lakes, streams, and bayous slicing through the state,
Louisiana has lots of the boggy flatlands where rice thrives almost effortlessly.
It’s so abundant that we’re always using it to stretch a meal for unexpected
guests. We serve boiled rice in cakes, as hot calas (rice cakes served with cane
syrup), in rice dressing, in stuffing, in jambalaya, with red beans, and on and on.
We serve long-grain and short-grain. Our rice is unusual in that it starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven. This is a true Creole technique. This is the
perfect amount for our gumbos, though you’ll need more for our beans and rice.”

Makes 4 side-dish servings, each 2/3 cup

1 cup long-grain rice, such as basmati
1 quart water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Wash the rice three times with cold
water, each time stirring the rice with your hands, then dumping out the
water. Drain rice thoroughly.
Bring the water and salt to a rolling boil in a large ovenproof pot that has
a lid, add the rice and bay leaves, and stir occasionally and gently with
wooden spoon until the water returns to a boil. Stirring will release the
starch, so avoid overstirring, and, when boiling, do not stir at all. The
boiling prevents the rice from sticking.
Cover the pot but with the lid slightly ajar to let steam out. Continue
boiling for about 12 minutes or until the grains soften and water appears
to dissipate. The grains will swell and become tender to the touch.
Drain the rice by creating a small opening a small opening between the
cover and the pot. Season with additional salt and pepper, and dot it with
the butter.
Remove lid and place in the preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, taking
care not to brown it. Do not stir. Remove the rice from the pot and place
it in a serving bowl to prevent carryover cooking.


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