Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Secret to Cooking Rice

Many years ago, I learned the secret to cooking rice from a very drunk man at a pizza-by-the slice place in Sausalito on the 4th of July. I don't know who he was or where he came from, and in retrospect I have no idea how the topic of cooking rice came up as we waited in line to buy our slices. I suppose it came up like any topic in a conversation with a dunk individual: for no discernible reason but one that somehow made perfect sense at the time.

The pearl of wisdom that he imparted upon me that day, was to peel a garlic clove, slice it, and put it in with the water and the rice. The oil in the garlic then keeps the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and imparts just a hint of garlic flavor to the rice itself.

It works wonderfully. So wonderfully in fact, that I've done it for every batch of rice I've made since over these many years, until last night.

You see, last night, I had accidentally used all of my available garlic in my stir-fry marinade and had none left for the rice. How much of a difference can it really make, I wondered, and made my rice without it.

Never again. Boy howdy if there wasn't a thick layer of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan when I went to serve it. Who knew? A very drunk man at a pizza-by-the-slice place in Sausalito on the 4th of July, that's who knew. Thanks again!

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