This Method Will Change the Way You Cook Rice for Good
Grab your sheet pan!
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Full disclosure: I'm guilty of using three pots and pans to do the job of one. I don't even know how it happens. I start out with one single skillet, only to end up dirtying that skillet, plus two pots, a sheet pan, and an extra skillet for good measure. Because of this, I go out of my way to search for one-dish dinners, one-pot pastas and foil pack recipes. If I follow a recipe, I'm less likely to make a mess of my kitchen.
When I heard Marge Perry came by to host a couple of classes for the Food Network Kitchen app, I was excited, to say the least. She, along with her husband David Bonom, wrote the cookbook that solves all my dirty dish dilemmas —Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day. They literally wrote the book on smart, sanity-saving one-pan dinners.
In one of Marge's classes, Sweet Chili-Glazed Salmon with Sugar Snaps and Rice, she cooks up a complete meal —protein, vegetable and grain— on a single sheet pan. In all of my research (Pinterest scrolling and Google searching), I had never seen anyone start with uncooked rice on a baking sheet. Here, Marge does that, promising the rice will be fluffy in the end. Naturally, I had to try this out for myself. It sounded too good to be true.
But, it's not.
There is a trick to this. The rice-to-liquid ratio really depends on what else you're planning to add the pan. Because sugar snap peas and lean proteins release very little liquid as they cook, she adds a little extra water for this salmon dinner. If you're planning on topping the rice with ingredients that give off a lot of moisture (think: zucchini or chicken thighs with skin), though, she suggests adding less.
Check out her class in the Food Network Kitchen app, where Marge breaks down the specifics of this rice-to-liquid ratio, and also walks through when to add each ingredient to the sheet pan, too. This timing is the secret to having a delicious dinner of perfectly cooked salmon, crisp snap peas and fluffy rice made on just one pan.
So, yes, dinner doesn't have to involve dirtying ever dish you own — even on the nights you're eating rice. Who knew?