Special Fried Rice

Yes the title of this chapter would indicate the children’s dinner tonight. A dish they have always enjoyed since babyhood. Though in the early days with the little ones, there was always an element of ‘pebble dashing’… Can I also give some advise to parents with under fives in tow? Do not be drawn in by the commercials selling you aqua beads, kinetic sand and magic mosaics. If you have small children, (you know where I’m going with this), they have the rare ability to scatter the smallest projectiles to the winds. I will leave the bit about glitter and stickers to another time. But back to today’s dinner of special fried rice, just like you might order from the local Chinese takeaway, thankfully it all remained 100% on their plates. And I must add that they all finished and a dessert of chocolate chip cake bars was the reward for such good behaviour and increasingly improved table manners. The three hour cleanup after the kinetic sand incident (all five were guilty) was remembered in situ with an earlier moment when the smaller twins used to try to articulate their spoons filled with rice and the attempts to raise their said spoons to their mouths. We ended up with a dust pan and brush on more than one occasion on evenings where rice dishes were involved. But the children still love Dadda’s special fried rice. And we still enjoy a variety of international cuisine accompanied by rice. The method for perfect rice will follow. Everyone should have the competence to cook such a basic food like rice. My method will guarantee a perfect result! So please heed the very basic steps that follow.

Don’t use the hob – that is your memory of the last overcooked rice dish you want to avoid! Use your microwave please. It’s good for a couple of things and rice is one of them. Don’t use the usual big brands of long grain – easy cook blah de blah. Just buy regular basmati rice. Use a ceramic or Pyrex dish with a lid. I always Place two sheets of kitchen towel on the revolving plate within the microwave in case of some spillage. Fill your dish with a little under 40% of dry rice. Over 50% will be a big problem. Fill the rice filled dish with water and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Swish with your fingers and empty, then cover again with cold water. Swish, empty and fill again with hot water. Don’t weigh it, just fill with water that looks about twice the height of the pre soaked rice and add a good amount of salt. Cover with a lid, or a plate to seal and microwave the hell out of it for fourteen, maybe seventeen minutes, depending on being 750 or 850 wattage. After said time, remove with oven gloves and turn out onto a roasting tray or large dish. It will look like a block of solid rice. Don’t be fooled… use a fork and gently break apart and move the clumps away from the central mass and kind of break up into smaller grains with the fork. Perfect cooked rice, never over cooked or under cooked, always flakey grains of perfectly cooked, quality rice. Cook as much as your dish will allow. Use maybe half for your meal and spoon the remaining half into a freezer bag. Seal and once cold, use your fingers to break up any remaining clumps of rice and freeze. Your next rice meal will be as simple as a defrost and a three minute microwave and it will produce a second, even simpler dish of perfect, flaky rice that is cooked to perfection. Tonights special fried rice was indeed a case of defrosting a per frozen bag of pre cooked basmati rice. Too easily achieved and such an astounding result. Good appetite and good nite nite.

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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