Making soup with rice question

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by ckay87, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. ckay87

    ckay87 demented and sad...but social

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    I'm a self-taught soup chef. Have not yet used a recipe and I like it that way - it's fun to see what I can come up with. Everyone seems to like my creations; you really can't go wrong. Anyway, the one thing I do manage to screw up is rice. I've been making a great overall gumbo, but the rice always gets too mushy. How are you supposed to put rice in soup? I've been cooking it first, before adding it, so it doesn't absorb too much of the soup liquid. Is this wrong? Should you just increase the liquid in the soup to allow for the rice? Is there a special kind of rice that works better than regular long-grain rice?

    Probably a stupid question, but I figure someone here would have tips.
     
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  3. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice RIP, Max!

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    When I make my own soup, I keep the rice and pasta separated until I'm ready to serve it.

    I guess I'm no help, but I have never been able to keep the rice or pasta from completely soaking up the broth after I've combined them.
     
  4. 1stluvispooh

    1stluvispooh <font color=blue>Go straight and never ever stop<b

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    Gumbo is to be served OVER rice.
     
  5. TriMom

    TriMom <font color=red>SWIM BIKE RUN<br><font color=blue>

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    I put the uncooked rice in so it will soak up all the yummy soup broth. Broth always tastes better than water. I normally use jasmine rice, it has a stronger "rice" flavor, so you can season it with broth and still taste rice.

    I cook the soup and then bring it to a boil. Dump the rice in, cover, turn heat to low, and let sit for about 40 minutes. Then it is ready to serve.
     
  6. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    I put the rice in uncooked and add water as needed. Rarely, I might use cooked rice b/c I have some leftover -- it would go in at the very end, but it wouldn't taste as good. The rice NEEDS to soak up the broth b/c that's where it's going to get a lot of its flavor.
     
  7. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

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    I add the rice into the soup base about 15 minutes before I plan on serving it. I add it in RAW not precooked. Works for me.
    *and I'm thinking she means a gumbo soup not real gumbo-mmmmgumbo!
     
  8. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    I should add that I put the rice in fairly late. Ditto for potatoes, most vegetables (onion and celery might be part of the broth and go in at the beginning).
     
  9. ckay87

    ckay87 demented and sad...but social

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    Yea, I'm from Pennsylvania (PA Dutch country, no less); you won't catch me claiming to be a gumbo expert. I should probably call it something else :laughing:. It's darn spicy though, can I have 2 points for that???

    Thanks everyone. I'm going to try your strategies next time.
     
  10. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    While some soups do include rice during the cooking process, Gumbo is not one of them; it uses other thickening agents. Never cook the rice in the Gumbo -- cook it seperately and put the rice in the bowl first when serving, otherwise your oil will not properly rise to be skimmed after the Gumbo cools, because adding a starch other than roux during cooking causes the oil to bind. (If you want to be artsy, mold the rice in a ramekin like restaurants in NOLA do, so that the Gumbo forms a ring around it when served.) Adding the rice at serving has another benefit; your Gumbo will fit better in your freezer. Gumbo is one of those soups that is improved by being frozen.

    When you make a soup that does include raw rice, add it no more than 30 minutes before you expect the soup to be served. Rice cooks in boiling-point broth in 20 minutes -- go past 30 and you will have mushy rice.

    PS: Just FYI, Gumbo never includes carrots, because they turn to mush, too.
     
  11. rie'smom

    rie'smom <font color=green>"Always let your conscience be y

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    OK, but I'm a Cajun girl and our gumbos are never spicy unless someone adds Tabasco to their bowl at the table.
     
  12. ckay87

    ckay87 demented and sad...but social

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    :rotfl::rotfl:
    Ok, can we just forget I used the word "gumbo"? It was wrong of me.
    :laughing:
     
  13. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    What kind of rice are you using? Long grain rice and Jasmine rice hold up pretty well, as long as you cook it right. Use 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Bring the water to a hard boil, add some salt, add your rice. Stir and bring up to a hard boil again. Turn the heat on low and cover your rice. Cook on low for 20min. DONT LIFT THE LID! and don't cook any longer. As you're cooking you'll notice some steam escaping from the pot. That's a good thing. When the steam stops coming out your rice is almost ready. Cooking rice uncovered or peeking to see if it's done will ruin your rice.

    And if you really want to go healthy, cook brown rice. Same measurements, 2 cups water: 1 cup rice. Bring water to a boil, add salt and rice. Return to boiling, cover and cook on low for 1 HOUR. Brown rice is hardier and healthier for you because it is less processed than white rice. I cook up a big pot of brown rice and keep it in the fridge so I can use it later in the week. I like to eat it for breakfast--it's kinda nutty tasting and has a lot of texture, like old-fashioned oatmeal.
     
  14. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    Gumbo shumbo. LOL Back to the original question. :)

    I have done both, but I prefer to use cooked rice and add it at the end, about 30 min. before the soup is done I add the cooked rice. If I use uncooked rice I add more broth. :) I do the same with pasta.
     
  15. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Don't bet on that -- folks from outside Louisiana sometimes have a different definition of "spicy" than we do. I once made gumbo for the folks in my office up here and one of the ladies complained that I had lied to her when I said that the gumbo wasn't spicy. What was she complaining about? She objected to the presence of onions, garlic and a 1/2 tsp. of black pepper in the entire 2 gallon pot. (She was from Wisconsin.)

    In S. Louisiana we usually define "spicy" as having a lot of heat from cayenne. Folks from elsewhere may define it as something as something else entirely. If onions and garlic make something spicy, then my gumbo definitely is, but it is not "hot" the way someone from Lafayette would define it.
     
  16. rie'smom

    rie'smom <font color=green>"Always let your conscience be y

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    Because I think it's awesome that you'd try cooking gumbo, I'm going to share my grandmother's recipe.

    Grandmother's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe

    1 lb smoked sausage

    salt and pepper

    1 chicken, cut into 4 or 5 pieces

    1.5 c butter or oil (butter is better)

    1 c all purpose flour

    3 lg ribs celery

    3 lg onions

    5 qts water

    3/4 c chopped parsley

    1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

    Gumbo file ( it's ground sassafrass)

    Brown sausage, drain;set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste; brown pieces inn sausage drippings. drain; set aside. Wipe inside of pot with paper toweling. Add butter for roux. Add flour; cook over medium or low heat stirring constantly, for about 30 minutes or until the color of chocolate peanut butter-just this side of burned. Be careful because if it burns, you have to start over. Add celery, onion,and smother until soft. Add small amounts of water as needed to prevent roux from burning. Add remaining water and boil. Add browned chicken and sausage; simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. 5 minutes before serving, add green onions and parsley. Serve hot in deep bowls over a mound of rice. If you can find the file, sprinkle a little bit when served.

    Gumbo has the consistency of thin soup. Many restaurants outside of the area advertise gumbo but it is thick like stew which is not right.

    It's also excellent made with 1 lb of crab meat & 1 lb of small to medium shrimp- you can used canned but it won't be the same. Cook as above but omit the chicken and add the seafood 10 minutes before serving.

    ETA: Serves 10-12
     
  17. rie'smom

    rie'smom <font color=green>"Always let your conscience be y

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    You're right, I was using spicy as we use it here to mean FIRE!!!!!
     
  18. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    As long as we're on that topic, a bit of a warning about giving Grandma's recipe to folks from up North ... Filé can bite if you're not used to it and use too much without working up a tolerance.

    Filé (ground dried sassafras leaves) is an aromatic herb. It is added to gumbo -- after cooking ONLY -- for the purpose of thickening. If you have never ingested filé before, you should know that it has two possible side effects if eaten, depending on how much you eat: 1) it will clear your sinuses, and 2) it can have a laxative effect. Filé chicken gumbo is great when you have a stuffy nose, because even the steam is medicinal. I've been eating filé regularly all my life, so it doesn't cause me any digestive difficulty, but I've had dinner guests become quite miserable with diarrhea if they follow my lead in terms of the amount that I put on my bowl. Use it sparingly until you determine how it affects you.

    FTR, there are two traditional thickeners used in gumbo, and they do not mix well, so you should use one or the other, but not both. Filé is one of them. You don't want to add filé during cooking, because it turns bitter at more than about 200 degrees fahrenheit; just put it directly on what is in your bowl. The other possibility is sliced raw okra, which *is* added during the cooking process and must be cooked down to be effective, as it is the sap in it that is the thickener. I'm not an okra fan myself -- too slimy for me.
     

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