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Spenser has cooked rice four times, and twice he has done so in the oven. I had never heard of this method but one of my correspondents, HM2 Thomas P. Lorenc, USN, sent me the following:

"Ahhh, making rice in the oven the old fashioned way...Bob it sucks!! I had a thing for Cajun food awhile back and it called for cooking the rice in chicken stock in a loaf pan. Needless to say, half of the rice was burnt (if you like your rice crunchy...) and half was mush."

I politely decline to experiment with that method but if Parker says so I have to include it here. The following recipes are based on the text of the books, my own experience, and a little help from my close personal friend Betty Crocker.

The Godwulf Manuscript RiceEdit

Chapter 12: "I put on a pot of rice to cook."

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

Combine and heat to a boil, stirring once or twice. Reduce to simmer, cover pan tightly and cook 14 minutes. Remove pan from heat, fluff lightly with a fork, cover and let steam 5 to 10 minutes.

Brown Rice: increase cooking time to 35 minutes.

Wild Rice: increase to 45 minutes (technically it's not really rice but the seed of an aquatic grass, but try telling that to marketing executives.)

Early Autumn Rice:Edit

Chapter 9: "I made rice with chicken broth and pignolia nuts, thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf and cooked it in the oven."

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Pignolia nuts
  • Thyme
  • parsley
  • bay leaf

Heat stock to boiling in a saucepan. Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish, stir. Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Crimson Joy Brown RiceEdit

Chapter 2: "The timer rang in my kitchen and I got up and went and took the rice out of the oven. I cracked the cover on the casserole so steam could escape..."

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Pignolia nuts

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish, stir. Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Stardust Brown Rice

Chapter 20. No details given; use the recipe above but do not include the pignolias.

Bob's RiceEdit

Find a well equipped appliance store or an oriental market and buy a rice cooker. Avoid the bottom-of-the-line units; you'll wind up throwing them away in a few months. Quality versions start at about $100 and ramp up from there depending on the features. The one I use is more hi-tech than most people need; I can program the cooking a week in advance and adjust for the type of rice used, then it will remain at the proper temperature for a day or two.

Consider it an investment in an appliance that will last for years to come and greatly simplify your life. I've even started collecting recipes for meals that can be cooked in it, but that's another subject entirely.

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