Long-grain white rice fine, not flavorful


November 03, 1993|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Q: When a recipe calls for rice, what kind should you use and does it make a difference?

A: Unless otherwise specified, basic long-grain white rice (not instant) is a safe choice for a recipe calling for rice. Some varieties of rice are interchangeable without a different cooking time, but can add more flavor. Examples of these are Basmati rice or pecan rice, which both have a nutlike character. Arborio rice is considered the classic rice for such dishes as paella and risotto, but new renditions of these recipes often call for Basmati and therefore will specify their own cooking times. For sushi and other Asian recipes, sweet rice, a very sticky short-grain rice is the choice, but this should be specified in the recipe.

Q: If I am not able to find lowfat buttermilk, what can I substitute?

A: Powdered buttermilk is sold in many supermarkets, and is good to keep as a staple because it has a long shelf life in this dry state. Read the package directions for reconstituting. Sour milk was a substitution for buttermilk that my grandmother used. To make, use the same amount of liquid called for in the recipe. Have either regular milk or the equivalent amount of reconstituted evaporated or dried whole milk solids at 70 degrees. Place 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and add milk to equal 1 cup and stir. Let mixture stand five minutes to "clabber" or form a consistency like that of buttermilk.

Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered ion this column.

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