Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guardian Service Basics: Rice

Though I love rice, it didn't appear in regular rotation in our diet until we looked to it for economy, nutrition and body building. I lack the knack, the Rice Touch. A product of Russian/German and Swedish/Yankee Puritan ancestry, rice rarely featured in my families' menus and though my mother attempted to produce "Chinese Restaurant" rice at my request, it was never her signature dish. Despite various methods promising consistent perfection, I often wound up with a gooey mass.

Enter Guardian Service. I've written about a couple of other staple foods that, prepared the "Guardian Service Way" won us over to the waterless cooking method, potatoes and coffee in particular. When we discovered how easily Guardian Service produces flawless rice (brown, white, basmati, long and short grain), we experimented with other neglected cereals and grains with equal success: grits, barley, buckwheat, wild rice*, quinoa, kamut, spelt, amaranth...

While the mid-century recipe below calls for washing and rinsing the rice until the water runs clear, domestically-processed rice has already been cleaned and rinsed of excess starch prior to packaging. You may wish to rinse to remove any packaging dust, but beware over-rinsing: one of the tenets of waterless cooking is the retention of nutrients which are otherwise rinsed or boiled away. "The general rule is to wash imported rices and not to wash domestic rices, which are well cleaned and dried before packaging. Imported rices have plenty of clinging starch left over from the processing." (The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, Hensperger/Kaufmann, Harvard Common Press, 2003)

(from Betty Gay's Guardian Service Tested Recipes)
Time: About 20 Minutes (Serves 6-8)

2 cups rice
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 tsp. salt

Wash rice thoroughly in warm water, washing several times until water is clear. Drain, place in unit, add cold water and salt. Start over medium heat until boiling point is reached. Cover, reduce heat to very low until rice kernels are tender. (Do not stir.) Rice may be unmolded from unit by running a knife blade around edge. (Every grain will be tender and separate—no sticking—no soaking required—no waste of rice.) Serve it buttered as a substitute for potatoes—as cereal—as an accompaniment for chop suey or shrimp creole—or use as a basis for nourishing desserts.

Companion Recipe: Rice Pudding—What better way to use up two cups of leftover cooked rice? Note: While the Guardian Service Tested Recipes cookbook does have a recipe for Rice Pudding (which I'll experiment with and blog about soon), it calls for a cup of uncooked rice... and we had plenty of leftover cooked rice.

(Also Note: 1 cup of uncooked rice yields 3 cups cooked rice).

(Adapted for the Guardian Service Casserole/Tureen
from The Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, First Edition, 1950)

2 large eggs (or 4 egg yolks)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
nutmeg for flavoring
NOTE: Add vanilla, if desired.

Beat all ingredients slightly to mix and add:

     2 cups cooked rice
     1/2 cup seedless raisins (or chopped dates—a handful of chopped candied ginger added to the mix is especially good).

Pour mixture into the Guardian Service Casserole Unit and set into Tureen Unit over medium flame and cover. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until sides begin to brown.

*UPDATE: Wild Rice. Soon after posting this blog, we received an email from Goose Valley, a grower of certified organic and natural wild rice in the Cascade Mountains in Shasta County, California. The farm and ranch at Goose Valley work in tandem, reducing the amount of external inputs each operation requires in an effort to farm with a minimum impact on the environment. Nicole, in their Boston Sales Office, asked if we'd like to try some of their wild rice and sent a trio of their packaged rices. 

We started with their spectacular Organic Wild Rice, which has a rich, nutty flavor and couldn't be easier to prepare the Guardian Service way (we used an Economy Trio cooker and prepared vegetables and chicken in the other two cookers, all over one flame for added fuel economy). Simply add 1 cup wild rice to 3 cups water or stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for almost an hour, until the kernels become fluffy and tender.

Thanks so much, Nicole!


  1. I'm making rice in my guardian ware for the first time right now but was wondering if the trio tray will work instead of the trivet for stove top cooking with the trio pans? The trivets are so hard to find at a good price. Thanks, Cindie

  2. Cindie,

    What a clever solution and something we hadn't thought of trying. Ideally the "Economy Trio" cookers are fuel savers and are best used together over a low-to-medium heat and using the service tray would require more fuel (since you'd be heating the entire tray which, while comparatively thin, would create a double-boiler effect similar to cooking with the Casserole and Tureen units combined).

    You might check a local hardware store to see if there's an inexpensive hibachi or grill rack that might support the pans while still allowing heat a direct contact with the bottom of the trio pans.

    Let us know how your trivet solution/substitution turns out! (I'm confident your rice turned out perfectly).

  3. Cindie, re: your question regarding Electric Stoves:

    I wouldn't recommend cooking with the service tray on an electric stovetop. Although we honestly don't have any experience using Guardian Service cookware on electric stoves (and while there's no reason why most units shouldn't cook beautifully as long as you modify your timings) I'd be cautious about using a large double layer of metal (the service tray) between an electric coil and the trio cooker units, for two reasons: 1) the heat will take longer to regulate on an electric stove because the coil remains in contact with the pans and 2) adding the reflected heat of that large an area could damage your stove top surface.

    If you can't find the original trivet to support the Economy cookers, I'd still recommend looking for a grill that permits airflow and direct contact with the units. Expermient! Keep the heat low, watch your timings, and we'd be eager to know how it turns out!

    Yours in Good Health, Pleasure and Profit,