Ranch & 3-Cheese Creamy Rice –“Faux-sotto”
This simple side-dish is a perfect addition to any meal. Rich, velvety & flavorful, it really tastes like it should be much harder to make than it is. It tastes so much like a creamy slow-cooked risotto — I can’t help but call it “Faux-sotto”. No need to hover over a hot pan stirring your life away! Just cover the rice – let it steam to perfection & add a short list of simple & delicious ingredients…your family will never know what hit them!
Over the years, I have gotten comfortable making rice. There for a while, it was a disaster. When David would walk in the door and see a lidded pot steaming away on the stove, he would immediately proclaim “If that rice boils over again I am not cleaning it up.” ((in as friendly of a voice as he could muster))
Inevitably, it would boil over – the starchy rice water would seep into all of the crevasses of my cook top and the burning stench was almost unbearable. I would clean until I couldn’t scrub anymore & then call him in to finish it up.
Finally, I learned a trick, or should I say tricks. Just for kicks, I will share what little knowledge I have acquired – with YOU!
- ((WHITE)) Rice always requires a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. No more, no less. So if you are using 1 ½ cups of rice, add 3 cups of water. 2 cups of rice requires 4 cups of water.
- Bring the water to a boil with the rice in the pot, keeping the pot uncovered until it reaches a boil.
- Promptly cover the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest possible flame. ((DO NOT, under any circumstances, get distracted with screaming kiddos & forget to turn the heat down… unless you want another dinner guest to join you…named: ‘dis. a. ster.’))
- Glance over at the pot every few minutes just to make sure the liquid isn’t misbehaving and trying to bubble out of the pot.
- Leave the rice covered – don’t peek! The steam is what cooks the rice perfectly. Every time you take off the lid, you release the steam. This can lead to crunchy and even burned rice.
- After about 14-16 minutes, take a quick peek. If holes are visible in the pot of rice and you are no longer able to see standing water the rice is done. Turn off the heat, replace the lid & move the pot of rice to a cold burner.
- Leave it covered until ready to serve.
- It will be perfect every.single.time. No need for a rice cooker! (yay)
Once you perfect your rice-cooking technique, you can try adding some flavors & extras to the rice. Lemon zest & chopped chives are tasty! Chopped dried apricots and chopped mint – now we are getting fancy!
For this recipe, I kept my kiddo’s taste buds in mind. They loved this rice & it perfectly complimented the Oven-Roasted Shrimp ((recipe coming soon)). Dinner was served in less than 25 minutes (and I cleaned the kitchen up in that time too). It really can’t be more easy or delicious!
- 3 c water
- 1 1/2 c basmati rice
- 1/2 c of each, sharp white cheddar, havarti & parmesan cheese (all hand-shredded)
- 1 1/2 T dry ranch seasoning
- 3 T buttermilk
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare rice according to package instructions. I detail my cooking method and tips in the body of this post.
- Once rice in done and you are moments from serving, add cheeses, ranch seasoning & buttermilk. Stir to combine. Season to taste with S & P.
- Serves 6