Back to Basics: Baked White Rice

Back to Basics: Baked White Rice

As my husband would say: Well, I’ll be dipped in buttermilk.

I was all set to write this post about the wonder that is baked white rice, how effortless and foolproof it is, how convenient it is to slide a casserole dish into the oven beside the stew simmering in its Dutch oven, but it started to feel a bit familiar.

Turns out, I’ve already blogged about baked white rice. It was part of a post on cooking a whole chicken on the stovetop so I didn’t go into great detail, but the recipe’s there for all to see. So today, all I’ll tell you is that I’ve modified my method slightly, bowing to both Weight Watchers constraints and the cookbook chapter I’m writing this month, Big Batch Cooking.

Yesterday I tested a recipe for Korean Beef Stew, which pretty much screams for white rice. But the stew itself was a WW points-buster (10 points per serving, people! I get 23 points a day, total) so using additional fat in the rice was asking for trouble. I baked the rice just the same, but this time it went straight into the casserole dish, no browning in oil. Because I wanted the taste to be clean, nothing to fight with the stew’s sauce, I used water instead of broth. And because I was making a buttload of stew (seriously, it feels like that stew, savory and scrumptious as it was, went straight to my butt), I decided to make a buttload of rice too. Two cups of basmati rice yielded six cups cooked—enough to refrigerate for Whaddya Got Fried Rice tonight, and to freeze in three one-cup portions. Not bad, not bad at all.

Super-Basic, Big-Batch Baked White Rice
Serves 12
Weight Watchers members: This is 2 points per 1/2 cup serving

2 cups long-grain white rice (I used basmati, well-rinsed)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350°, and coat a casserole dish (one with a cover) with nonstick spray. When the oven is up to heat, combine the rice, salt, and boiling water in the casserole, cover, and slide it in. Bake for 25 minutes, then take a quick peek—if you still see quite a bit of water, put it back in for 5 more minutes. If it’s mostly absorbed, put that cover back on and let it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

See, I told you it was basic.