With the switch to whole wheat flour, I tried to switch everything to whole grains and succeeded for the most part. I parted ways with my Minute Rice, which always came out wonderfully fluffy and bought 10 pounds of brown rice. Well, there must be a serious learning curve with brown rice because I always had one of two results. Either the rice was crunchy despite the liquid being absorbed or the liquid was absorbed and I had a mushy glob of starch substance. Neither was really appetizing, as my family so lovingly pointed out. :(
I had kind of given up on rice. I made a decent chicken Rice-A-Roni knock off. The flavor was spot-on, but the texture of the rice was an issue. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we've found ourselves on the short end of money lately and I asked for help on my favorite forum to come up with ways to use that brown rice (as I still had several pounds left). Michelle from Recipes from Michelle's Kitchen, came to my rescue when I mentioned that I had trouble getting my rice to be done and not sticky. Here is her recipe.
IT IS BAKED! Who knew? My first time I had a little trouble because I couldn't get a tight seal on my baking dish, so the liquid evaporated and my rice still wasn't done. Now, I use my oven safe skillet with tight fitting lid and it works like a charm. Over the past two weeks I've come up with several ways to use this baked rice in all my dishes. Here are a few.
Green rice with meatloaf and steamed broccoli
Green Rice, aka cheesy broccoli rice-Bake plain rice and when it is done, add cheese sauce and chopped broccoli. Return to oven for a few minutes to heat through. It was awesome the first night, but it didn't reheat well, so I will mess with the recipe a bit more.
Chicken Rice-A-Roni-Add seasonings to rice and cook in chicken broth instead of water. I served this with homemade chicken nuggets, but it would also be good to chop up some leftover chicken and stir it in.
Spanish Rice-I've done this two ways and my preferred method is to make plain rice and let it cool. I did a double batch and stuck half in the fridge until I was ready to use it. Saute onions and minced garlic in a small amount of butter or oil until translucent. Add 1/2 cup or more salsa (I personally prefer black bean and corn) to the skillet and warm through. Add rice and stir salsa mix throughout. Heat through. You can top with shredded cheese and sour cream. That's what we did with the leftovers and it was delish!
Tuna and Rice Casserole, like tuna noodle casserole only rice. I make the same sauce as for the noodle version (only now I don't use cans, I use the pouch tuna). Pour it over the baked rice and stir. I grated some parmesan over the top and the daycare kids happily scarfed it down, even my son who cannot stand rice. Wonders never cease!
Fried Rice-a wonderful way to use leftover rice. Chop onions and a bit of garlic and saute in oil. Add peas and carrots (I use frozen) and heat through. Add rice in and stir it all up. Scrape the rice to the side of the pan and scramble 2 eggs on the empty side. When the eggs are about 2/3 cooked, stir them into the rice. Add soy sauce to taste. It was by far the best fried rice I've ever made (Minute Rice days included!).
On the menu for tonight is stuffed pepper cup casserole. I tried it earlier in the crockpot and it was ok, but now that I've got the rice thing solved, I want to try again! I'll post a picture tomorrow.