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starting out - questions on brown rice and scanpan/tefal and eggs

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
hi i don't cook much i only cook when i have to for diets (weight training).

i have a few questions -

1. i need a frying pan for a oatmeal/cottage cheese/6 whites/1 yolk mix, i have done a little research and found that a lot of people seem to suggest scanpan for the beginner. its about $88 where i live for a 28cm, i heard its NOT non-stick though and eggs stick quite well. i want to use as little fat as possible so i'm not sure if this pan is for me (also considering calphanon and tefal - but i heard scan is the best). basically i blend oats, cheese, eggs and pour it into the pan (ususally i use a cooking spray - i can wipe an oil with a paper towel)

2. brown rice - okay i just learned how to cook this by using a weighed ratio of 1:3 (rice:water), bring it to a boil then setting the stove to low until the water has evaporated. im just wondering if i can use an easier set-and-forget method. perhaps a rice cooker or a microwave method (i boil my chicken breasts in stock in the microwave anyway)

thanks !!
post #2 of 10
Beginner, you're covering a lot of territory in your post.

I can answer the rice question, though. Alton Brown has a no-fail oven-baked rice recipe. It's from his "Do the Rice Thing" episode:

1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

For more on rice from Alton Brown, check this out: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show..._37187,00.html
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post #3 of 10
The kind of pans you are looking at sound to me to be a bit too high end if you only cook occasionally. A good, inexpensive every day pan from Wearever would do you I think. I would definately go with a non stick for your recipe.

Here are 3 things to look for:
  • Non stick
  • uniformally thick aluminum (up the sides as well)
  • A rivited handle. The cheap ones with the screwed on handles are not worth the trouble. The handle comes loose and it never stays tight no matter how many times you tighten the screw.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
well we have a tefal at home and it doesnt really clean up to well. i also plan on learning how to cook in the near future (planning on buying some books by bill granger, and "twos cooking") so i'd like a decent pan. most importantly i want it to clean very easily though. i guess im after the easiest to clean pan ! any suggestions ?

using an oven will be a problem as i dont have one, at the moment im experimenting with a 'microwave rice cooker' 200g rice, 500g water, teaspoon of butter for 999 seconds :)

i cook chicken, eggs and brown rice every day so i like cooking and clean up to be as easy as possible. i found that chicken breast in stock cooks very well in the microwave in hot water for three minutes.

just need an easier way of cleaning the eggs and making the rice now. im hoping a perfect water/rice ratio with the right amount of time in the microwave will get me there ..

any suggestions ?

thanks everyone, know its not the most exciting topic but i know a lot of you have tons of experience :)
post #5 of 10
No oven, hmmm. Okay, what equipment DO you have? Sounds like your microwave sees a lot of service. But the one cookbook I have for microwaves says you're better off cooking brown rice on the stove, since it still takes a long time and doesn't do very well in the microwave.

If you have a hotplate or stove, you can do your rice easily in a pot with a tight cover, or even in a frying pan (cover it tightly with aluminum foil). For brown rice, I usually use a ratio of 2:1 water to rice by volume with a little butter or oil (not really necessary, but adds flavor) and salt, covered tightly, brought to a boil then heat lowered as you describe, and timed for 45 minutes (1 cup raw rice yields 3 cups cooked). To me, that's about as "set it and forget it" as I can get. :look:

As for which pan -- get the heaviest one you can afford. One that will keep its shape and hold a temperature without hot spots -- thin, inexpensive ones are terrible. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of nonstick except for cooking eggs (and even then, they still need a little fat). And get something with a tight-fitting cover; you'll be able to cook almost everything in it.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #6 of 10
I couldn't live without my rice cooker-an expenive option, but we love brown rice-just be sure there is a setting for brown rice. Some of them don't have a brown rice setting. And experiment with the amount of water-mine makes the rice a little too mushy if I follow the actual directions.
Mine is a cheaper version of the Zojurishi.
Also, on the pan for eggs issue: (this is really basic, but . . ) whatever you do, don't stick it under a faucet while it is hot. Yes, I really did that. Warped the thing all over the place. Now I have a really nice omelet pan and I learned my lesson!
If you don't have an oven, have you thought about a toaster/convection oven? There are some really inexpensive choices out there that work just like a tiny real oven-I use mine for cornbread and quickbreads and scones among other things. Still don't use the convection part of it because I haven't quite figured that part out. But the little oven is great and doesn't heat up my kitchen.
There are some nice 'hotplate' type burners out there for about $25-mine works better for temperature adjustment than my 1964 Fridgidaire range does.
más vale tarde que nunca
más vale tarde que nunca
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
its an electric stove with the coils, i think i might buy a circulon for the eggs, didnt know soaking immediately in cold water was bad (is that for all pans?). as for the rice, im using rice, butter, water and its turning out still a bit mushy ! not sure what to do about it yet .. considering a rice cooker, not sure if the cheap ones can cook brown rice ? dont want to buy a rice cooker (even if its just 20 bucks) and find it out it will only do white ! ...

but thanks for the help everyone, they're pretty basic questions but i was looking for some tips !
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
so if its turning mushy do i increase cooking time or reduce water ?
post #9 of 10
Here's my 2 cents.
Assuming it's cooked all the way through (not hard in the center), use less water if it's mushy.

Are you looking for separate individual grains of rice (like a pilaf), or something more creamy (mushy?) like a risotto? The following suggestions assume the former.

Are you still using the 3:1 by weight mentioned in your original post, or the 2:1 by volume Suzanne suggested? I like to use slightly less water, about 1 7/8 cup water to 1 cup rice. Since rice is a little lighter this probably gives me about 2:1 by weight.

Cooking time should be a slow simmer covered tightly for 45 min. or 40 min. plus 10 minutes covered off heat. I've spoiled the rice on an electric stove by turning the heat too low.

I always use a long grain brown rice because I think it's more conducive to the separate grains I like, and because it's the only brown rice for sale in the markets I go to.

As to your butter (or oil): I use two different methods depending on my mood.
1. Bring rice and cold water to a boil. Reduce heat to whatever setting produces a slow simmer on your stove. After 45 or 50 minutes (see above) remove the lid and fluff/stir in a tablespoon of butter. I like to use that 2 pronged carving fork for this. There shouldn't be any liquid in the bottom of the pot.
2. The second method does even better at producing separate grains and is very easy. Bring your water to a boil on a separate burner or in the microwave. Meanwhile heat your pot on med. for a couple minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of fat (olive oil or olive oil and butter). After a minute or so add your rice and stir with a wooden spoon more or less continuously for 3 or 4 minutes or so until most of the grains look toasted. Watch the grains while you're heating and stirring and you'll see what I mean. Add your hot water, cover and reduce to low simmer for 45 or 50 minutes. Bingo rice pilaf is served.
Either way you were in the kitchen for as long as it takes to boil 2 cups of water and set your timer. Sounds like set it and forget to me.

By the way, whatever else you do, save the water you're boiling your chicken in and use that for your rice water.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
great ideas ! thanks !!!
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