Long-grain white rice is one of the most versatile ingredients a beginning cook has. You can cook, steam, boil or bake it, and rice will blend well with almost any other food.
Try this Mexican Green Rice. I like to serve it with roasted pork spare ribs. The ribs are easy-season them with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting pan and bake them at 425 degrees for one hour, turning them halfway through (season the other side when you turn them).
You can make the rice the day before, then reheat it in a casserole alongside the ribs during the last 30 minutes of roasting.
Accompany your meal with warm tortillas, a simple green salad and a small bowl of sour cream for topping the rice. Your guests will think of you as a good cook.