1Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
2Place the measured water in a medium saucepan with a tightfitting lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and salt (if using), stir to incorporate, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer undisturbed until the rice is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered to steam for 10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Easy Rice Pudding
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.) -- you really can't go wrong.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Basic Chocolate Mousse
Simultaneously rich and light, chocolate mousse just requires a little bit of finesse, and the freshest, best-quality ingredients (eggs, chocolate, and cream) you can procure. Be sure to chill your cream very well and get every speck of water out of the bowl and whisk you'll use for the egg whites, then use a light hand when folding in the whipped cream, and you'll have a perfectly fluffy and decadent dessert.
DIY Puffy Rice Snacks
Crispy, puffed rice is actually a type of culinary foam, but it doesn't take a lot of fancy equipment to make. In this episode of MDRN KTCHN, host Scott Heimendinger shows you how to make puffed rice snacks at home using only a microwave and some frying oil. Want to learn more? Come back every Sunday for a new episode of MDRN KTCHN, and check out Modernist Cuisine's new cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home!