Years ago I used to live in a lovely flat in Notting Hill with a lovely friend called Rachel, I always say that while I lived there I had the time of my life (and I really did), Rachel and I had a lot of fun but I won’t go into any of that here. I knew she had spent a lot of time in Thailand and travelling the far east but I certainly don’t remember her cooking for me and I certainly didn’t for her (I don’t think we ate a lot in those days) but now Rachel is a fully grown up food blogger writing about beautiful, easy Thai food over on Racey’s Easy Thai(ish) Cooking.
We met up recently and in amongst the memories of our shared flat we also discussed me trying out a couple of her (easier) recipes, and so this week I did! She suggested the simplest might be her ‘Lovely Mince & Noodle Thing’ (it doesn’t have a name) and try out her technique to make perfect rice.
First up Mince & Noodles.
It certainly seemed simple enough, and I prepped all the ingredients easily:
This is the mince mixed with soy sauce, curry powder, salt, pepper and flour. Plus chopped celery and garlic, a jug of stock and some red wine vinegar mixed with chilli flakes.
I then browned the mince mix in a frying pan in a little oil before adding the celery, garlic and stock to the pan to simmer for about 15mins.
As soon as the celery started to soften and the stock had absorbed I was left with an unctuous mix that a pack of ‘straight to wok’ noodles was added (well I wouldn’t spoil it by making my own).
After another couple of minutes I added the vinegar and chilli mix and turned it out onto a plate to serve with some salad.
Well…. I have to say it was incredibly tasty, so if you actually have all the right ingredients and follow a recipe exactly as someone has described it works really well? Who knew?
As I was on a roll I tried out Rachel’s rice the very same night. Now me and rice do NOT get on very well as this blog will testify. I now use the microwave sachets – which taste terrible – just because I cannot take any more burnt pans, sloppy rice pudding or grains like little bullets, but I thought it was worth another go.
Again I did exactly as Rachel explained, no washing, no banishing of starch, no stirring, I just put some rice in a pan of salted boiling water and after 12 minutes took out and let it steam in a sieve for another 10 minutes above some remaining hot water. And look – fluffy and separated well cooked grains of rice – a cautious but well received success! My husband couldn’t believe it, and neither could I.