Stupid Proof Rice

For years, I consider myself a major failure when attempting a rice dish with dinner.  Unless of course, the recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s, a pouch, a pair of scissors, and 90 seconds in the microwave.  But at $2.00 a pouch, and not nearly enough to feed a family of 5, I’ve been looking for other options.

Options that do not include a boiling bag.  As that rice tastes a good deal like stucco.  And I should know, since I’ve been tempting to actually eat stucco during my recent 2 day “cleanse”.  Enough said about that.

A while back, I posted a White Bean recipe, and in the comments, a sweet reader named Gretchen told me about an oven rice recipe that she found at Kitchen Parade.  This is a long grain brown rice recipe that requires the use of an oven.  I tried it, and let me just say, that if I were to have any more children (WHICH I’M NOT), I would name one Gretchen, since she has single handedly changed my life with bringing this revolutionary rice recipe to my attention.

I’ve made it no fewer than a half a dozen times over the last few weeks.  And it has turned out AMAZING every single time.

So I wanted to share it with you all.  But don’t name your children after me.  Especially since I was named after a stripper.  I wish I were kidding.

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

  • 2 1/3 Cups Water (or chicken/vegetable broth)
  • 2 t. Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice (any variety)
  • 1/2 Cup Wild Rice
  • 1/2 t. Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bring liquid and Olive Oil to a boil in saucepan or microwave.

Meanwhile, in an 8×8 (or equivalent) glass baking dish, stir together the brown and wild rice.  Sprinkle with salt.  Pour the hot liquid over the rice and gently stir, distributing the rice evenly throughout the dish.  Cover tightly with a double layer of foil.  I use a single layer of heavy duty foil. Or if you have a glass top that goes with your baking dish, use that.  Bake for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Fluff rice with a fork, then cover lightly with a paper towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  Uncover and fluff again, wait 5 minutes.  Then serve and prepare yourself for a multitude of complements.

I can easily feed my hungry bunch with leftovers to spare.

Prepare yourself for a bit of sticker shock when pricing Wild Rice.  But since you only use 1/2 cup of it per recipe, a bag will last a good while.  Another variation that I’ve discovered, is the addition of some sauteed vegetables, such as peppers, onions, and/or zucchini when you’re putting the recipe together, prior to baking.

Uncle Ben, you are dead to me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to We are THAT Family.

November 10, 2010

13 Responses to Stupid Proof Rice

  • Look for wild rice in the bulk food area of your grocery store. A little less sticker shock there than buying it packaged.

    I can’t wait to try this method for cooking rice. Whether I use a rice cooker or stovetop method, it almost always turns out sticky and starchy, so I have great hopes for this new way.

    • Meg,
      I just started buying my Lentils that way. I’ll have to try the wild rice in the bulk food area. Thank you!

  • Baking rice seems to be the way to go. I can’t cook white rice to save my life but there’s this one casserole I make that has rice in it and the rice is PERFECT every time. I never thought of baking just rice though. I’m SO going to try this!!

  • Sounds good but time-consuming and unless using the oven for something else as well, would be using a lot of electricity and heating up the house. Mind you, now that it is getting colder, using the oven sounds like a good plan!

    I have had reasonable success with the bag of Uncle Ben’s brown rice cooked on top of the stove. I do it for the minimum of the range of times given, I think 25 minutes. Compared to other brown rices it is less sticky. I make a full cup with 2 1/4 cups of water, and since it is just me and hubby, we can eat that 3 times, microwaving to rewarm for the 2nd and 3rd time.

  • 2 words-Rice cooker. Available at Walmart-cheap! Love everything about that-never have to scrub overboiled rice uck off the stovetop again!!!!

    • You know, y’all have been telling me about the joys of a rice cooker for years now. 😉 I may have to break down and buy one for times when I’ve forgotten to allow enough oven time for my rice. OR when the oven is otherwise occupied with something else…

  • I’m with Heidie – rice cooker! We got one as a wedding gift 14 years ago and I scoffed at the idea. It is absolutely my favorite thing in my kitchen. Rice turns out perfectly every single time.

    I do like the idea of baking in veggies with this recipe though. I might have to try it one day. I don’t like to cook so I don’t do much recipe wise.

  • Yummy! (and on a day my oven is full of a roast…) I’ll bet you could get a bag of wild rice from Sam’s on the cheap.

    I think I just got hungry for bowl of buttery rice.

  • OK, now what are you people doing to rice that make it so hard to make? One of my friends who can cook and bake like no tomorrow just can’t make rice and I can’t figure it out. I have never had problems. Maybe your stove is out of whack, but here is my recipe for perfect rice.

    2 cups water
    1 cup regular white rice
    pat of margarine or butter or 1 Tbsp of oil
    a little salt if desired

    Boil water with butter, put rice in water, stir, lower
    the temperature to “low”, (I put it as low as I can go and I have an old electric coil cooktop)
    Cover immediately
    Set timer for 20 minutes
    DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!! Do not stir, do not peek, pretend it does not exist until timer goes off. That is the trick.
    When timer goes off, take off the heat and stir.
    Transfer to a bowl or container to serve or put away. Put empty pot in sink and immediately put water in pot so you can clean it easy later.

    Now, this is not Uncle Ben’s parboiled rice where each grain is separate. This is what regular white rice cooks up to be, which is a little sticky. I do nothing that is not already listed on the bag.

    Brown rice is a little more forgiving and you can stir it, especially if you are adding stuff to it like sauteed onions, etc. I’ve contemplated a rice cooker, but I just don’t need another gadget. My Cuban neighbors eat rice at every meal and use one every day. I would hardly use it.

    I can’t wait though to make the baked rice. I really like the brown rice called Lundberg Jubilee http://www.lundberg.com/products/rice/gourmet_rice_blends/Lundberg_Jubilee%C2%AE.aspx which is a blend of different brown rices. I use broth and a sauteed onion. It is delicious. I find it in the organic section at Publix. I just follow the directions on the bag 🙂 It is best to store all uncooked brown rice in the fridge because it can spoil quickly.

  • Another way.Very easy for plain white rice
    2 cups of rice,5 cups water.Put in a large microwavable bowl.
    Cover with saran wrap/cling film and secure with a large rubber band.
    Put in microwave,turn timer to 15 minutes. Press ON button.
    Wait for ping ,then leave 5 minutes.
    Take out boiled rice and use.

  • I love my rice cooker. if you spend a couple dollars more, you can get a tray on top to steam veggies. Even my rice hating husband will eat this. It takes less time and electricity also.

  • I was named after a stripper, too! I never knew anyone else who was (or admitted to it!). My mom wanted to name me Joanne or Roseanne but my dad saw an ad for the “Fascinating Jennifer” in the newspaper and decided that would be my name. (This was in 1958 before Love Story and the avalanche of Jennifers thereafter.) In 8th grade during the Sunday School class before the confirmation service, my Sunday School teacher decided it would be nice to go around the class and have us tell how our parents chose our names. I just said, “Uh… my dad liked it…”

  • The best / cheapest brown rice I’ve found is at Trader Joe’s. Either the Basmati or Jasmine variety. You get a big 2 pound bag for just over three dollars at our store. I use a rice cooker ($30 investment and have had it four years) and it’s perfect every time. The varieties in the grocery store are either awful OR cost $6.00.