This might surprise you if you are unfamiliar with Carolina Gold Rice and/or Chef Sean Brock (owner of Husk in Charleston, SC and Nashville, TN)…but this isn’t really ice cream. Not at all. It’s a rice dish.
*SHOCK! GASP! DISBELIEF!*
But ever since I watched Sean Brock make this dish on Mind of a Chef, and really go in depth into how amazing Carolina Gold Rice really is…I not only wanted to try the rice, but I wanted to make this recipe as well. Back in January, I went to Charleston, SC to run the Charleston Marathon, and while I was there, I hit up the market and purchased (for a hefty price…but worth it!) a sack of Carolina Gold Rice. The actual phrase “ice cream” in this particular recipe refers more to the preparation, which involves a boil-and-strain initial cooking of the rice, and then the process of oven drying it to give it a better texture. each grain is a distinct bit of food…no clumping. As the rice dries and the butter is added, the rice simply becomes the star. And that’s why it makes a simple, but perfect meal all on its own.
Since I had a bit of time yesterday, and since I wasn’t screamingly hungry, I went ahead and decided to use some of the field greens I got in my CSA bin as the topper for this dish and prepare it for dinner, using some of the Carolina Gold Rice I brought back from Charleston, SC. It takes a little bit of time and patience, but the end result…is amazing, simple, and delicious. A little elegant touch of the South right in your own home. Trust me, you’ll rethink the way you prepare rice in the future.
Recipe: Charleston Ice Cream
Time: Prep 5 minutes; Cook 45 minutes
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup Carolina gold rice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- Baby lettuces (or some julienned greens) (for serving)
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a heavy stockpot, bring the water, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add the rice, stir once, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain the rice.
Spread the rice onto a sheet tray.
Dry the rice in the oven, mixing occasionally. After 10 minutes, spread the butter evenly over the rice. Continue stirring every few minutes. The rice should be dry in about 15 minutes, and the grains should separate.
Serve by plating the Rice in a bowl and garnishing with the baby lettuces.
This recipe is super easy and really simple to prepare. I was most concerned about the flavor being bland, but I promise, it’s not. The simple addition of salt and white pepper to cook the rice in, not to mention the bay leaf, brings in a huge amount of flavor. And don’t skip the greens. They are refreshing and add a great texture and flavor to the finished dish. It’s an unconventional way of cooking rice, yes. But, damn…it’s amazing!
I am definitely hooked on Charleston Ice Cream. And…will want to keep Carolina Gold Rice in my pantry forever from now on. If you don’t have Carolina Gold Rice, any long grain rice will substitute for it. But, if at all possible, order some in, get your hands on some, and try it. You’ll be amazed.