Perfect Rice? Yes.

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris June 01, 2020 10:00 in On The Radio

Frank Brigtsen called in last Friday to help us cook better. As usual, after the reminiscences with Tom there is little time for the real reason he called - to help us improve our home cooking skills. I have been delighted with the Ask The Chef series, and I feel like we’ve all learned a lot. Since most chefs are trying to save their businesses right now, I have tried to choose either retired chefs or those whose restaurants are closed temporarily. 

Frank Brigtsen may be enjoying a more leisurely schedule, but he’s busy. Finishing up Volume 2 of a recipe booklet, he is doing the same thing we are, encouraging people cooking at home to try harder. 

The highlight of our chat was when Frank mentioned “the rice”, which means the legendary carb elevated to exalted status by the late great Gerard Crozier. I have heard tales of this before but never had the privilege of having it.

Over the weekend we did. The recipe is below.

Frank also reminded us that Creole tomato season is here, titillating us with tales of the Creole tomato sandwiches he and wife Marna would be making from the gorgeous fruit he picked up, along with six-inch okra from a farmer friend. This is a chef source that we don’t have access to, which is why people go to restaurants: they get the best raw materials. But hearing Frank talk about Creole tomatoes made us want to get some as close to their source as possible, igniting a desire to make a trip to Plaquemines Parish, which is the theme of today’s Dining Diary.

To get Frank’s booklet, “Stay-At-Home” Cooking-Spring 2020, click here:

Perfect Rice

Yield: 5 ½ cups

CHEF’S NOTES: Is it possible to have a life-changing experience with rice? I actually did. On my 24th birthday dinner at the classic French restaurant Crozier’s, Chef Gerard Crozier served a spoon of rice with his very elegant Dover Sole a la Meuniére. The plain rice seemed out of place, until I tasted it. How could something so simple be so good? I learned a valuable lesson. Great Chefs put great care into everything they do. If every component of a dish tastes great on its own, the overall dish will be that much better. With this recipe, you will never have to worry about rice again. 


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup finely diced yellow onion

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pinch ground white pepper

2 cups Jazzmen® aromatic white rice (or your favorite rice)

3 ½ cups water or stock

  1. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions become soft and clear, 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add the salt, thyme, and white pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 20-30 seconds.

  3. Reduce heat to low and add the rice. Cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add the water or stock and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to very low. Cover the pot and cook for exactly 17 minutes. Remove bay leaf, stir once, and keep rice covered until service.