This is probably the simplest recipe in the book – about from the description on how to hard boil an egg – but the thing is, I have owned a rice cooker for the past 10 years or so, which always cooks my rice to perfection for me. And the last time I cooked rice in a saucepan was… hmmm… too long ago to remember. Considering the reason I bought a rice cooker was because my rice was always either waterlogged or stuck to the bottom of the pan, I thought maybe it was time to go back to basics.
The first tip: always measure rice by volume and not by weight. Using a measuring jug, measure 65ml per person and then roughly double the amount of boiling water or stock.
Melt some oil or butter in a frying pan and stir the rice into the fat; this helps to keep the grains separate.
Add some boiling water, with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 65ml serving.
Once the liquid has been added and is simmering gently on the lowest heat, stir ONCE. Then put the lid on and ignore it for 15 minutes.
When there is no liquid left and the rice is tender, tip it into a warmed serving dish and place a clean tea towel over it for 5–10 minutes. Apparently this helps to absorb the steam and keep the grains dry and separate.
Fluff the grains with a fork. Serve!
Personally, I think the best thing about this rice is the addition of butter. Everything tastes great with butter. Delia also likes to add onion to her rice, but I think this would be a bit much for my Munchkins. I’m trying to desensitise them to the presence of onion, but they’re not that far yet.
Here’s Delia Smith’s recipe for Perfect Rice (though it differs from the Complete Cookery Course recipe as it uses oil instead of butter and adds an onion).