Gulf Coast-Style White Rice PilafArroz Blanco
1 1/2 Tbs. vegetable or olive oil (I use canola)
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 small white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth, for vegetarians)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. coarsely chopped flat-leafed parsley, for garnish
Set a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, rice and onion. Stir frequently until the grains of rice turn from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes. They shouldn't brown. Add the garlic and stir a few seconds, until fragrant, then add the broth and 1 tsp salt. Stir a couple of times, the let the mixture come to a full boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover tightly and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes. Don't lift the lid until near the very end of the cooking time, when you just lift it enough to test a bit of the rice from the top and middle of the pan (which is the last spot to finish cooking in a pot of rice). If it isn't done yet, tilt the pan and lift the edge of the rice to make sure there is still enough liquid in the bottom to cook a little longer, add another 1-2 Tbs. of water if it's dry, and put it back on. You shouldn't ever stir the rice while it's cooking. When it's done, take it off the heat and let it stand about 5 minutes before serving. Then you can fluff it with a fork and sprinkle it with the parsley for garnish.
For a rice cooker, saute the rice in the saucepan, then scrape it into the rice cooker, add the broth and salt, and let the rice cooker do the rest.