“bacholor soup” recipe, and how to keep rice from boiling over

by andrewlohr

(I married Wendy in A.D. 2008, so I don’t talk about “bachelor soup” much now.)
–c3. d1, How to cook rice without letting it boil over; d2, a recipe for “bachelor soup,” with variations thereof; d3, hints for soft moist bread, for soft microwaved bagels, for oatmeal, and for getting bread out of baking pan

-d1. Problem: when you bring rice to a good boil, and then cover it and turn the burner down to a simmer, it often boils over, making a mess on the pot and the stove.
–Solution: as the rice gets near a boil on one burner, set another burner to a simmer setting (“2” out of 10, or the next level above “low,” on stoves I’ve seen), and when the rice is boiling nicely on the hot burner, cover it and move it to the simmer-set burner; from the burner that’s set on “10” to the burner that’s set on (and has already heated up to) “2” or whatever. (This does work better with a pan six inches deep than 4 inches, and with a setting of 2 and not higher–depending also on how full the pan is (how much rice you’re cooking), and how strong your stove is…)

d2. Recipe for “bachelor soup”
In one pot, bring 2 cups dry rice (with 4 cups water, or whatever) to a boil.

While waiting for the rice to boil, put:
1 pound frozen mixed vegetables
half pound frozen broccoli or stir fry veggies
can or two of green beans, carrots, cajun veggies, etc
in another pot, and start warming this up on another burner, set to “2” or so (as in d1 above).

When rice boils, switch pots, rice to the cooler burner, veggies to the hot burner that’s just brought the rice to a boil.

About the time the rice is done, the veggies come to a boil. Shut off and drain the water. (It tastes OK hot if you want to drink it; I don’t like it cold.)

When the rice is done, combine rice and veggies in one big pot. Add spices to taste. I usually throw in about half an onion torn up or chopped; a fat teaspoon of chopped garlic; a VERY few pieces of chopped red pepper; some chili powder; some Italian seasoning…and a few shakes from whatever spice bottles I have on hand.

Stir until well mixed. Tastes good hot; ok cold. Microwave a quarterplateful with a slice of cheese on top. Keep in fridge until used up (or beyond use.)

(Some version of this recipe may’ve been previously published in a singles newsletter of New City Fellowship some years ago.)

Use Ramen noodles or macaroni instead of rice. With macaroni, use spaghetti sauce.
Cook all ingredients in same pot. (Ramen and pasta cook quicker than rice.)
Add meat, especially if the whole batch’ll disappear in one or two sittings.
Make less (or more) at a time.
Fresh veggies?

Q Why call it “bachelor soup”? A Because I’m a bachelor (as of 17 May A.D. 2007; one ex-fiancee), and rather than mess with different dishes I like to have a bunch of nutrition in one pot, cooked once rather than daily.
Q Why bother with recipes when you’re part of the Christian conspiracy to take over the world?
A God sees sparrows fall (or, land and take off); he ordained food during the first week of creation; Jesus ordained a Supper and was involved in food on various occasions… Me too.
Q Christian conspiracy to take over the world?
A Go to http://www.freebooks.com and read THE GREATNESS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION by Kenneth Gentry. Or consider Matthew 28:18-20, where Jesus said, Teach all ethnic groups to obey all My orders; He then (or soon after) pushed off to Heaven and left us to do it, to feed His lambs. Or consider II Corinthians 10, where Paul expressed the ambition to take every thought captive to the obedience of the Christ. Including recipe thoughts, political thoughts…

d3. Hints
–Problem: hot fresh bread dries hard, and I like bread soft and moist.
Solution: cool newly baked bread down in a confined space–inside a cooler, inside a plastic box, etc–instead of out in the open.
–Problem: microwaves turn bagels (and other breads) into stiff crusts.
Solution: fill a half bagel with tap water before microwaving; it’ll come out hot and soft. (Hold a half bagel, face up NOT crust up, under a tap, cover it with water, pour off excess, nuke for 30 seconds or so…)
–For oatmeal: add a packet of hot chocolate mix to a bowl of it. (So far, I’ve added after cooking.)
–To get a loaf of bread out of a pan (especially an old bread-machine pan that’s slightly warped): slide a plastic spatula between the sides of the pan and the loaf all the way around, prying the loaf up just a little, before you turn the pan over to shake the loaf out. (Thanks Mikhail Vassilev.) And, maybe, before baking, grease the pan with shortening?
–Problem: doughnuts are junk food, but they sure taste good dunked in coffee.
Solution: dunk whole wheat bread in coffee. (To be sure, the coffee I dunk bread into may be junk food, full of mlik and hazelnut creamer…)