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otatop

Question for Pilsbury Please

It's about rice.
The Hackney Winter Night Shelter approaches. I've always avoided cooking anything that needs rice as an accompaniment, but curry is always well received and I can't rely on having a confident rice-cooking volunteer on the night.
I'd love you forever if you could tell me how to cook plain boiled rice for 30/40 people! Quantities would be really helpful - and perhaps fancier recipes .....

And for anyone who reads this and lives in London, there's a great comedy fundraising show at the Hackney Empire on 6 Feb, but it does tend to sell out fairly pretty quickly.
tahir

When do you need the rice?

If timing works I'd be happy to cook it
sally_in_wales

Gareth says:

Get a big big pan, the wider the better. Rice goes in- use the quantities on the packet per person. Level it across the pan bottom. Add cold water to cover to a depth of your first knuckle when you just touch the rice with your fingertip. Bring rapidly to a rolling boil, boil with lid off for three minutes. Add lid, switch off heat, leave for twenty minutes and taste a grain or two. If its done, stir, if not, leave for five more minutes. Do not stir it before its done. That is very important.

he says its foolproof, and so far I've also found it to be so Smile
tahir

Gareth's recipe is good
Nick

I would add to soak the rice first, and remember it freezes well, so doesn't need to worry you on the day.
tahir

I've never soaked rice
sally_in_wales

I asked G about soaking and he says he sometimes rinses cheap rice through to remove dust, but usually doesn't bother. No reason why not to though if you want, it should speed up cooking very slightly.
Nick

Yep, it halves cooking time and removes some starch making it less sticky, more fluffy.

But, there are many ways to skin a cat.
tahir

I never use cat in my rice
Nick

Bloody foreigners. Coming over here, not eating our muck.
sean

A cat skin cartouche helps with the steaming phase.
This thread's stopped being helpfull, hasn't it?
tahir

Useful, me?
Pilsbury

Lol thst about covers it but just in case at work I do mine I the oven, twice as much water to rice in an oven proof dish ans then tightly cover with foil and if you can put a lid on.
Into an oven for about an hour normally and then give it a stir.
If all or at least most of the liquid has been absorbed then leave covered until needed and then fluff with a serving spoon, if there is still quite a lot of liquid in there back in the oven.
You can add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a spoon of turmeric before cooking for yellow rice.
You can also mix a splash of oil onto the rice before adding the water and mix well if you think the grains might stick.
Pilsbury

Oh and if you can add boiling water to the rice before it goes in the oven it will cook quicker
and I forgot to mention salt because I don't use it for the kids but people can add their own if you don't want to add it.
As for measurements.
I do 2 litres of rice to 4 litres of boiling water in a full size gasronorm pan and it cooks to fill the pan, I will check the size in a bit but I would say it's 20- 25 healthy adult portions..
Pilsbury

Oh and what night? I may well be able to be a confident rice cooking volenteer.
dpack

you folk are nice salute
tahir

Oh and what night? I may well be able to be a confident rice cooking volenteer.


If there's cooking facilities on site I could do a dhal or something and Pils could do rice? Actually easy enough to do both for 1 person.

Let us know possible dates so I can see what I can do
sean

http://www.hwns.org.uk/ If you want to know more.
otatop

Thank you all so much - such amazing generosity.
Sean - it's HWNS that I volunteer for. It's amazing (or very disturbing) how it's grown since we started about 20 years ago. The shelter runs from end December to end March. My church hosts on Wednesdays. We offer an evening meal, washing facilities, a bed for the night, and a calm evening of telly, board games, jigsaw puzzles, and chequers. We've also had some amazing successes with finding homes and jobs.
Anyway, I'm doing the 'main meal' again again, starting 30 December. I can cope with that - probably fish pie, or something 'school dinners' with mashed spuds. I can easily plan that sort of thing, but we do have the occasional emergency. Last year, on such an occasion, I did kheema with various pickles - and a very brave lady did the rice and we 'won' the HWNS meal of the month'. I wouldn't let that go to my head(!)- but I would like to re-create a meal that was so much enjoyed.
BahamaMama

you folk are nice salute

What he said... I hope it goes well for you. I am sure it will be appreciated.
otatop

Lol thst about covers it but just in case at work I do mine I the oven, twice as much water to rice in an oven proof dish ans then tightly cover with foil and if you can put a lid on.
Into an oven for about an hour normally and then give it a stir.
If all or at least most of the liquid has been absorbed then leave covered until needed and then fluff with a serving spoon, if there is still quite a lot of liquid in there back in the oven.
You can add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a spoon of turmeric before cooking for yellow rice.
You can also mix a splash of oil onto the rice before adding the water and mix well if you think the grains might stick.

Thank you so much Pilsbury. I'll do a trial run - but where are you on re-heating rice? I cook as much as I can at home - partly to get food on the tables promptly, and also because I hate the oven in the church kitchen.
I had another lovely pm offer of help from Tahir. I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed by DS generosity! I'm not sure if I'm allowed to copy my reply to you .....?
otatop

Further to HWNS - Hackney Empire stand-up comedy night. A fundraising show on 6 February. Brilliant performers make you cry with laughter in aid of the Night Shelter. You have to be sharp though - it sells out really quickly. sean

How did it all go? otatop

It goes off tonight. I'm looking forward to meeting Pilsbury. dpack

enjoy Nick

It goes off tonight. I'm looking forward to meeting Pilsbury.

It's a positive experience.
Pilsbury

Yep, crumbles all ready, custard to be made there.
Looking forward to it.
otatop

How did it all go?

Well, it went really well. We start when Crisis at Christmas closes, so last night was the first shelter - always a bit of a challenge because so many of the usual volunteers are away. Also, we don't know much about the guests needs - or how many guests to expect. (Over the 3 month season we get to know them well and are often able to find them housing and work). A particular worry last night was that we had an unusual number of women. We've never had more than 5 or 6, so we put their beds in the small room to give them privacy - but the co-ordinators had to re-think at the last moment.

Anyway, it all went well - and I finally met Pilsbury. Where has he been all my life?! He's brilliant - and what a gent! I do hope that he enjoyed the evening. I'd put my favourite coat in a muddy puddle for him for his help with the new and terrifying industrial cooker!

The menu was: my beef casserole, or squash, mushroom and broccoli pie, with boiled spuds and peas, and Pilsbury's apple crumble with custard and/or cream.

Happy guests and a quiet and peaceful night.
sean

Excellent. Very Happy Pilsbury

Lol thank you very much.
It was a really good experiance and I'm fairly sure i will be volunteering in the future, it's a great feeling to be able to give something back and I would recommend it to anyone who has the time and opportunity.
dpack

you folk are nice and effective Cool

well done
otatop

Night shelter news from last night.

Tahir's response to my rice problem was to volunteer to cook it. I think we put a great meal together for our guests. Tahir did a rice and veggie pot and a dhal for the vegetarians, and I did a beef kheema with salad, cucumber raita, and chutney - and there's a brilliant little place down the road that does lovely flaky fresh naans.

Then some brilliant puddings arrived from I'm not sure who - I only wish that I'd found time to have one. My OH did the overnight, and reported that all was calm and peaceful.

We've been collecting sealable 'takeaway' cartons for leftovers. This has been welcomed by our guests, and there were no leftovers after last night.

Downsizers are so kind. Pilsbury came and did puddings on about the most unpopular night of the year. I'm so glad I found you all!
Pilsbury

I'm glad it all went well and I'm sure I will be back sometime. otatop

That would be lovely Pilsbury. jema

Just caught up with this thread, I soak a bit, and do use the method suggested, with basmati though I find its cooked after 12 mins, so I am curious on the 20 mins quoted in this thread. yummersetter

That sounds both fun and delicious, Otatop & Tahir - a fine combination tahir

We really enjoyed it, if we were nearer we'd happily do more. We'll see what we can do, thanks for getting us involved.

As I said they weren't like the homeless people that use our local (Whitechapel) shelter, very easy to deal with, easy to chat to too
otatop

We really enjoyed it, if we were nearer we'd happily do more. We'll see what we can do, thanks for getting us involved.

As I said they weren't like the homeless people that use our local (Whitechapel) shelter, very easy to deal with, easy to chat to too

We've been doing this for 15/20 years or so now. We used to have problems with alcohol etc. but (with the help of various agency's) we've learnt how to deal with these things. These days our guests are far more likely to settle down to an evening of chequers or jigsaw puzzles than to go out for vodka. We also have support from all sorts from people who know their way around housing/health/law/work etc. We've really come a long way since we started.
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