Crunchy Rice Excitement at Dinner

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Not many families stop and marvel at their side dishes, especially when they are as humble as rice. But the other night our crunchy rice made us do a double take. Each rice grain on the top of the casserole was standing on end, with golden brown tips rising above the surface. We stared a minute, wondered how it happened and took a few pictures before digging in. There was some discussion on how, and why it happened, but we came to no conclusions.

I make rice fairly often as a side dish, and I make crunchy rice when I want to get everything in the oven at one time. That night I used the last of my Texmati rice (a trademarked brand from Rice Select. Worth picking up if you see it in the grocery store). I needed just a bit more rice, so I used a couple of dribbles and drabs I had stashed in the freezer at some point – about a tablespoon of Arborio (now why didn’t I just throw that in the pot instead of saving it?) and about a third of a cup of basmati rice from Trader Joe’s.

I was in a hurry, and I’m not sure if I stirred the rice after I added the hot broth. I also used a deeper dish than normal, hoping that more of the rice would be fluffy and it would keep better for leftovers. When I use my usual shallow dish the rice gets nice and crunchy, but it is like eating little hard pellets when reheated the next day.

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I’m not sure if the changes I made led to our little rice grains standing at attention, or if it was just a fluke. But whatever caused it, it was pretty impressive, at least to us. What can I say? We are food nerds.

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11 thoughts on “Crunchy Rice Excitement at Dinner

  1. That is too cool! You do realize that I work for the company that make that rice dont you? It is wonderful!!!!!!!!! Love ya! Marya

    • I did remember that! You got us started on Rice Select with the free samples you brought to a family reunion eons ago. I did have a few more sentences about the rice and that my cousin worked for them, but it was starting to sound like a paid advertisement, so I took them out. Hope to see you soon! XXOO

  2. Some cooks have all the luck of having something turn out fantastic – when it was just a throw together. 🙂 Take Care, Mary. Keep up the the good work on your blog, helps my spirits stay bright when I’m in the thros of chemo.

    • Thanks, Mary! This is a dish I do all the time, with many variations. I have never had the rice all stand up – no idea why it did.

      Thinking about you and hoping your treatments are going smoothly. Glad I can help a tiny bit with the blog!

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