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Old 05-17-2020, 08:36 AM
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Help me with my Spanish Rice game.


Made a beloved Pernil recipe last night. ( Well. Yesterday. It's a 4+ hour bake... ). Hadn't tried in 20 years. Turned out great.

Tried making a fairly simple Spanish rice recipe I found. Here's where I struggled and I ask for some assistance.

The recipe called for me to sautée onions in a few Tbsp of oil. When translucent, add in the uncooked rice. ( 1.5 cups ). Then slowly in the iron skillet heat until the rice is browned.

I had the flame wicked low. I stood over this thing nonstop, slowly working the rice with a flat-ended bamboo spatula so nothing would burn. I still wound up with some burnt rice. Not enough to wreck the recipe. I could taste faint burnt flavors in the end result ( which overall was spicy and good ).

How do I go about making rice this way without burning it?? More oil? I didn't want to muck up the recipe by adding oil but I need to find a fix.

We own a rice cooker for Asian iterations of rice ( Basmati, Jasmine, etc. ) but this called for the classic Spanish ( or at least Latino ) method. I learned the Pernil recipe and technique from my Cuban pal. She also makes her rice in an iron skillet.

Why, one might ask, don't I just ask her? Cause admitting I burnt the rice is hard, and the Dope is where I go to get help !!

So. Help !
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:18 AM
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Sounds like a Cafe Society question. Moving.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:55 AM
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Add the liquid sooner? Really, you only want to toast rice until it's aromatic and slightly colored.

Last edited by Chefguy; 05-17-2020 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:29 PM
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Following as I am the only Puerto Rican in the universe who cannot, for the life of me, cook rice and must make it in an electric steamer if it is to be edible.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:48 PM
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You just toast it briefly on the dry skillet then add oil to fry it. I think that's what puffs it out and gives it that distinctive texture. This is how my Mexican partner always did it. He never sauteed anything, he'd add it to the water. He would burn his chili pepper on a stove burner though. But tomatoes and onions he'd just chop and crush up some then add to water then he'd add fairly thin slices of the roasted pepper. It seemed to me he always added too much water, like way more than I ever did, but his rice was always perfect and mine was not.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:02 PM
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I use butter instead of oil. The milk solids start to brown and that is the time to add water.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:14 PM
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Ditch the whole thing and switch over to Cajun-style dirty rice. Adapts to the same sorts of foods, but is delicious enough to eat all alone. I first had it as an accompaniment to roast duck in New Orleans, and asked the waiter if I could trade the duck back for more of the rice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_rice
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:54 PM
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Also, keep a handful of uncooked rice next to your pot. Compare the color of the rice in your pan to the uncooked rice to gauge what "browned" looks like.


It's not always apparent when you're stirring constantly staring at the pan.
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