Because I am basically a non-potato eater, we eat a lot of rice at our house. In the last few years I have developed a love for brown rice. I love the nutty flavor, the crunchy texture and the fact that it is healthier for you than regular white rice. Brown rice also has a lower glycemic value which is a good thing. Brown rice is not processed as much therefore preserving more of the nutritional value. The only downside to brown rice is that it takes longer to cook than white rice so it takes just a bit more planning, but it is worth it. Here is how I cook brown rice. I bring 4 cups of water (sometimes I use 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken broth for a little more flavor) to a boil and then add in 2 cups of rice. I like to have leftovers with rice but if you don’t you could easily cut this in half. I then turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook – it will take 25-30 minutes. I also put two layers of paper towels between the pan and the lid. I don’t know why but I read it somewhere and have done it ever since and I get perfect brown rice every time so I’m going to keep doing it!!
Then it is time to doctor it up. We had dinner at some friends a few weeks ago. Both the husband and wife are amazing cooks but the husband has a special flare with food and manages to make everything not only taste delicious but look pretty too. They served brown rice that night and added toasted, chopped pecans and shredded Parmesan cheese to it. So good! I decided I needed to replicate it at home. I chopped and toasted about a 1/2 cup of pecans but you could also use hazelnuts or almonds. To toast them I just put them in a frying pan with some olive oil and stirred. Watch them because they can burn easily. I just wanted them to start to brown not burn. I added the nuts with about 1/2 cup of Parmesan right into the rice and just stirred. Salt to taste.
So good! Of course my friend Merrill took it one step further and perfected the presentation. And it is so easy. He grabbed a measuring cup and filled it with rice and patted it down.
Then he just turned it upside down right onto the dinner plate.
A nice little mountain of nutty brown rice. Just add your main dish (this is a chicken and green bean stir fry I will be sharing on Friday) and you have a delicious meal and a lovely presentation. Remember, it’s all in the presentation!
- 2 C brown rice
- 4 C water
- ½ C chopped and toasted pecans
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Add rice to boiling water
- Place a double layer of paper towel between the pan and the lid
- Cover and turn down to simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until rice is cooked
- Toast pecans in 1-2 Tbsp olive oil just until brown
- Add toasted pecans and shredded cheese into rice and stir