In cooking, there is a difference between simple and easy. Easy recipes don't require a lot of skill to prepare. Then, there are recipes that are simple: that is to say that there are few ingredients, but the preparation of the ingredients may be very complex.
Cooking rice is as much an art as it is a science. I remember watching a program when chef Morimoto talked about how difficult it is to prepare properly seasoned sushi rice. I'm no expert at making sushi rice but I do make a lot of brown, basmati, jasmine and wild rice for my husband. If cooked improperly, wild rice can taste like horse food. But it doesn't have to be that way, I've discovered some method and techniques that will produce a softer, more delicate end product . Just because wild rice is good for you doesn't mean that it can't taste good as well.
A special note: The wild rice in the picture was given by my father-in-law's friends from Minnesota.
1 cup wild rice
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter, at room temperature
Wash the rice throughly, discard any dirt. Place in a bucket, cover with water. Add 1/2 of the juice of a lemon with its pulp. Soak for at least 2 hours. Drain as much water as possible.
Repeat the same procedure for the wild rice without the lemon juice though.
In a saucepan, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the wild rice. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid, then cook for about 50 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt half way through the cooking process. The wild rice should be tender. Do not remove the lid and wait until the basmati rice is ready.
Fill about 4 quarts of water in a big pot. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the rice is cooked all the way through evenly. Cook for about 8 minutes at a bubbly simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt half way through the cooking process (it will bring the natural flavor of the basmati rice and the rice will be more tender). Keep stirring the rice every now and then so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot. It may take longer than the cooking time written on the instructions of the package. The grains of rice should be still a little hard, about 2/3 of the way cooked. Drain the liquid from the rice using a fine mesh colander. Do NOT rinse. Discard the liquid.
Transfer the rice to a small saucepan. Using the pestle (the stick) of a mortar and pestle, create 3 evenly-spaced holes (forming a triangle) in the pot of rice and drizzle about between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water into the rice. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you'd like to. Place little mounts of butter all over the rice. Seal the saucepan with an aluminum sheet and cover tightly with a lid. Place on the stove over high heat for about 4-5 minutes. Steam should escape from the pot.
Drain the excess liquid from the wild rice (cooked a little earlier) using a fine mesh colander. Transfer the wild rice to the basmati rice saucepan. Lower the heat to a medium low, cover the lid again and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait at least 10 minutes for the rice to set. Do not remove the lid.
Fluff and mix both types of rice together. The rice is ready.