Cooking Cereals:Cooking Rice


VARIETIES AND STRUCTURE
Rice, next to wheat, is used more extensively as a food than anyother cereal. It is a plant much like wheat in appearance, but it grows only in warm climates and requires very moist soil. In fact, the best land for rice is that which may be flooded with about 6 inches of water. This cereal is of two kinds, namely, Carolina rice and Japanese rice. Carolina rice, which is raised chiefly in the southeastern part of the United States, has a long, narrow grain, whereas Japanese rice, which originated in Japan and is raised extensively in that country and China and India, has a short, flat, oval grain. Efforts made to raise the Japanese variety in the United States show a peculiarity of this cereal, for when it is planted in the same locality as Carolina rice, it soon loses its identity and takes on the shape of the other. Although vast crops of rice are raised in the United States, a large quantity of it must be imported, because these crops are not sufficient to supply the demands of this country.
Before rice grains are prepared for use as food, they have twocoverings. One is a coarse husk that is thrashed off and leaves the grain in the form of unpolished rice and the other, a thin, brown coating resembling bran. This thin coating, which is very difficult to remove, is called, after its removal, rice polishings. At one time, so much was said about the harmful effect of polished rice that a demand for unpolished rice was begun. This feeling of harm, however, was unnecessary, for while polished rice lacks mineral matter to a great extent, it is hot harmful to a person and need cause no uneasiness, unless the other articles of the diet do not supply a sufficient amount of this food substance. After the inner coating has been removed, some of the rice is treated with paraffin or glucose and talc to give it a glazed appearance. This is called polish, and is sometimes confounded with the term rice polishings. However, no confusion regarding these terms will result if it is remembered that rice polishings are the thin inner coating that is removed and polish is what is added to the rice. In composition, rice differs from the other cereals in that it is practically all starch and contains almost no fat nor protein. To be perfect, rice should be unbroken and uniform in size, and inorder that it may be put on the market in this form the broken grains are sifted out. These broken grains are sold at a lower price than the whole grains, but the only difference between them is their appearance, the broken grains being quite as nutritious as the whole grains. In either form, rice is a comparatively cheap food, because it is plentiful, easily transported, and keeps perfectly for an indefinite period of time with very little care in storage. Before rice is used, it should be carefully examined and freed from the husks that are apt to remain in it; then it should be washed in hot water. The water in which rice is washed will have a milky appearance, which is due to the coating that is put on in polishing rice.
RECIPES FOR RICE
Rice may be cooked by three methods, each of which requires adifferent proportion of water. These methods are boiling, which requires twelve times as much water as rice; the Japanese method, which requires five times as much; and steaming, which requires two and one-half times as much. Whichever of these methods is employed, however, it should be remembered that the rice grains, when properly cooked, must be whole and distinct. To give them this form and prevent the rice from having a pasty appearance, this cereal should not be stirred too much in cooking nor should it be cooked too long.
BOILED RICE
Boiling is about the simplest way in which to preparerice for the table. Properly boiled rice not only forms a valuable dish itself, but is an excellent foundation for other dishes that may be served at any meal. The water in which rice is boiled should not be wasted, as it contains much nutritive material. This water may be utilized in the preparation of soups or sauces, or it may even be used to supply the liquid required in the making of yeast bread. The following recipe sets forth clearly how rice should be boiled:
BOILED RICE
(Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 c. rice
3 tsp. salt
3 qt. boiling water
Wash the rice carefully and add it to the boiling salted water. Boil rapidly until the water begins to appear milky because of the starch coming out of the rice into the water or until a grain can be easily crushed between the fingers. Drain the cooked rice through a colander, and then pour cold water over the rice in the colander, so as to wash out the loose starch and leave each grain distinct. Reheat the rice by shaking it over the fire, and serve hot with butter, gravy, or cream or milk and sugar.
JAPANESE METHOD OF COOKING RICE
Rice prepared by the Japanese method may be used in the same ways as boiled rice. However, unless some use is to be made of the liquid from boiled rice, the Japanese method has the advantage of being a more economical way of cooking this cereal.
JAPANESE METHOD
(Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 c. rice
1-1/2 tsp. salt
5 c. boiling water
Wash the rice, add it to the boiling salted water, and boil slowly for 15 minutes. Then cover the utensil in which the rice is cooking and place it in the oven for 15 minutes more, in order to evaporate the water more completely and make the grains soft without being mushy. Serve in the same way as boiled rice.
STEAMED RICE
To steam rice requires more time than either of the preceding cooking methods, but it causes no loss of food material. Then, too, unless the rice is stirred too much while it is steaming, it will have a better appearance than rice cooked by the other methods. As in the case of boiled rice, steamed rice may be used as the foundation for a variety of dishes and may be served in any meal.
STEAMED RICE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. rice
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2-1/2 c. water
Wash the rice carefully and add it to the boiling salted water. Cook it for 5 minutes and then place it in a double boiler and allow it to cook until it is soft. Keep the cooking utensil covered and do not stir the rice. About 1 hour will be required to cook rice in this way. Serve in the same way as boiled rice.
CREAMED RICE
To increase the nutritive value of rice, it is some times cooked with milk and cream to form what is known as creamed rice. These dairy products added to rice supply protein and fat, food substances in which this cereal is lacking, and also add to its palatability.
CREAMED RICE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2-1/2 c. milk
1 c. rice
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cream
Heat the milk in the small pan of a double boiler and add to it the rice and salt. Place this pan into the larger one and cook for about 1 hour, or until the rice is soft. Then pour the cream over the rice and cook a few minutes longer. Serve hot.
ORIENTAL RICE
As rice is a bland food, practically lacking inflavor, any flavoring material that may be added in its preparation or serving aids in making it more appetizing. Oriental rice, which is prepared according to the following recipe, therefore makes a very tasty dish and one that may be used in place of a vegetable for lunch or dinner.
ORIENTAL RICE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. rice
2-1/2 c. stock, or meat broth
2 Tb. butter
1 slice onion
1/2 c. canned tomatoes
Steam the rice in the stock until it is soft by the method given for steaming rice. Then brown the butter and onion in a frying pan, add the tomatoes, and heat thoroughly. Pour this mixture into the rice, mix well, and serve.
Besides left-over rice, small quantities of one or more kinds of left-over meat and stock or gravy can be used to make a very appetizing dish known as SPANISH RICE, which may be used as the main, or heavy, dish in a luncheon.
SPANISH RICE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 small onion
2 Tb. butter
1-1/2 c. steamed or boiled rice
1 c. chopped meat
1/2 c. meat stock or gravy
1/2 c. canned tomatoes
2 Tb. grated cheese
1/4 c. stale crumbs
Chop the onion and brown it in butter. Mix well the browned onion, rice, chopped meat, stock or gravy, and tomatoes, and pour all into a buttered baking dish. Then sprinkle the cheese and crumbs on top of the mixture and bake for 1 hour in a slow oven. Serve hot.

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