Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homemade rice-y-roni

Once there was a dishwasher I had to work with who was a bit cranky. Nobody else really got along with her. That's how ornery she was. One morning she was in the middle of a tirade about having to wash egg pans. I walked over to talk to her and noticed a piece of rice up her nose. Giggles started to ensue on my part, which made her even madder, as she didn't think I was taking her drama serious enough. When I stopped giggling, I told her my discovery. I don't know what that has to do with this blog post, except that every time I make rice I think of the dishwasher and wonder if she still has that single grain of rice in her nose. Not that I want anyone else to think of that when they go out to eat. Yikes.Mixes on Monday starts today. I have so many mix ideas that sometimes I forget how much I really do rely on these homemade convenience foods. I may not always have one up every Monday, but I will try my best to keep things interesting around here. Why do I make my own mixes? For one thing, they are way cheap. I'm kind of famous in my family for my um...frugality. I guess that's a good way of saying I'm cheap. Not that I don't know how to spend money or that we are totally broke but for all the times we were having problems it became a habit. Now I'd much rather spend the money other places besides my food budget. Plus, and this is a big plus, I know exactly what goes into my mixes. If I make them from all natural ingredients, then there is no question what I'm feeding my family. So today I thought I'd share my rice-y-roni. My mix makes 8 cups cooked rice, which is about right for the 6 people in my family. Ace is a big eater. A value size box of commercially made stuff makes 3 cups of cooked rice. For about 20 cents a mix, I make a bag that makes the 8 cups. Yes, like I say, I'm cheap. I'd rather buy new shoes than boxes of rice.

I'll usually make 8-10 mixes at a time, this takes about 20 minutes but is well worth it. It takes us about a month to go through them since we don't eat it every night. In each quart size bag I put 2 cups of converted rice:
and 1 cup of broken spaghetti noodles or fideo noodles.
Then I put the flavoring ingredients in snack bags (one seasoning packet per mix)
2T bullion (I use msg free low sodium) Optional, you can prepare the mix with stock instead of water.
2T dry onion, 1T dry carrots (optional) 1/8th tsp celery seed 1T Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning, 2tsp dry parsley, 1 tsp garlic powder.
Other flavor ideas:
Mexican: Use onion and carrot but for seasoning, use 1T taco seasoning, Or 1 tsp each: garlic, cumin, oregano and chile powder.
Oriental: Use onion carrot and celery seed, but also 1 tsp curry and 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1T garlic powder.
Curry Chicken: Use chicken bullion, all the original seasoning plus 1tsp saffron 2tsp curry powder.

I write the name of the flavoring mix on the bag along with how much liquid to add to the mix to prepare it.
Simple right?
To prepare you will need:

2 T butter or oil
4 cups water (or stock if you omit the bullion in your seasoning)

Directions: In a 2 quart pan with a tight fitting lid, brown the rice and noodles in the oil until noodles are a nice deep brown, but not burned. Add the water and the contents of the seasoning mix. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low for 20-25 minutes, until tender.

Last night we grabbed a bag of the curry chicken homemade stuff and cooked it up with one of my favorite freezer meals. Grilled herb chicken with blackberry sage sauce. It was awesome.

There you go.

Serving Size: 2.5 oz
Amount 1 cup cooked rice Per Serving
Calories 250
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 50g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 7g


mlebagley said...

Is converted rice different from the regular white long grain stuff? Is it like that Uncle Ben's stuff that cooks really fast? Hmmm.... or could I use the regular white rice stuff? Can you sense my confusion? Is it rubbin off? I hope not! Kindly advise.

Anonymous said...

This looks like something my family would like to try. I was just wondering what converted rice was......

Chef Tess said...

The "Wikianswer" to the converted rice question:Converted rice (or parboiled rice) is a white rice prepared from brown rice that has been soaked, steamed under pressure to force water-soluble nutrients into the starchy endosperm, and then dried and milled. The process normally results in firm, easily separated grains when properly cooked." I just like how it cooks, but you can absolutely use regualar long grain rice in it's place. Great question guys!

Olivia said...

I made this a few nights ago and it was absolutely delicious! And I can't believe how easy it was to make the seasoning blend! This is a keeper recipe for my pantry. Thanks, Chica!

Chef Tess said...

Smoooches Olivia!