So, here's the life changing (for me) rice cooking method. I cook mostly brown rice which why this is such a big deal. Most rice cookers are awful at cooking brown rice and on the stove top, if you make large quantities to freeze, the water proportion can get all squirrelly. This method, which I first read about in this book for white rice, has worked amazingly well for me. So simple, who was hiding this information from me for so long??
I used brown basmati rice this time, but you can use any rice. For reals, any kind at all. White, brown, you name it. I don't measure, but usually make about 3 cups. Rinse the rice under water first to get the starch out. I just do this in the pot, strain, then pour it back in the pot. Keep the strainer out.
Add water to cover the rice. A lot of water. Boil it like pasta. If you are cooking white rice, take a little grain out and test around 7-8 minutes. For brown rice I check around 20 minutes and usually take it off around 23 minutes. You want it slightly under cooked. Chewy, not crunchy at all, but not too soft either. For short grain rice, it might take longer. I just nibble it every 5 minutes or so. The boiling time varies with the type of rice, so just jot it down when you get it right. I test a lot, so it's super easy, but you can't just walk away towards the end of the boiling.
When it's done, dump it into a strainer in the sink.
Dump it back into the pot, off the heat, and cover it. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. It will look wet but the steam will dry it out and finish the cooking. After about 5 minutes, fluff, and you are done. If you undercooked the rice too much, you can let it rest, covered, to cook it more. If you cooked it too long, you can make this resting time shorter, even skipping it if the rice is really soft. It tastes better if it can finish cooking by resting though, so try not to over boil it.
Let cool for a bit then store in the freezer. I am going to get a ton of these glass storage bowls that can go in the freezer (I think) straight to the microwave, I need to research these a little more to see if they can actually go in the freezer first. It looks like some can and some can't. I want something reusable and non plastic for storage, I am still working on this.
To thaw the frozen rice I run it under hot water in a strainer to break it up, then microwave in a loosely covered bowl and the moisture steams it right up. Perfect. I have also just added the rice semi-frozen if I am baking, or steamed it over boiling water if I am steaming veggies—sort of depends how I use it.
In, The New Vegan Cookbook: Innovative Vegetarian Recipes Free of Dairy, Eggs, and Cholesterol Lorna Sass uses this method of cooking not only with brown rice but with every grain she cooks. Seriously! She gives a list with approx. boiling times. Millet, quinoa, wheat berries, barley, you name it. She freezes and thaws them the exact same way. She writes about this blowing her mind after reading about this cooking method in The Cook's Bible: The Best of American Home Cooking, which I obviously need to check out.
I have not tried this method for any other grains besides rice yet. I will and report back, and let me know if you all do. There is a great grain and bean cookbook I have been loving lately that I will write about soon as well, cause what the heck to do with all these grains, beans, and whatnot? It has all sorts of cool recipes that go beyond black beans and rice, which I could eat every day, but my family can't.