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Say Cheese!

April 7, 2011
The ready cheesy rice

When I first moved to the United States, I was amazed by the different flavored rice sides sold in grocery stores:  four cheese, Spanish rice, herb&butter, and so on and so forth.  I also found it odd that a lot of people don’t cook their own white rice, but get these flavored varieties or “quick rice”.  However, making your own rice “from scratch” is simple, and the results are as tasty, if not better, than the boxed flavors.  This “cheesy rice” is a little crossover between “regular” rice and a very simple Italian risotto.

Ingredients

The Ingredients

The ingredients you will need:

  • 1/3 c white rice
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1/4 of a medium-sized yellow onion
  • Butter (to taste, at least 2 tablespoons)
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper (I used white pepper)

First, drop the onion in the water, and bring them to a boil.  You can do it in a smaller pot on the stovetop – I just tossed them in the microwave.

In a medium-sized pot, melt about 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat, then add the rice.  Keep stirring until all the rice has turned to an opaque white, then add the boiling water and onion.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, or even low if you’re not in a hurry, and cover the pot.  I usually even put a towel or dishcloth between the pot and the lid for better heat and steam insulation.

Onion in water

Swimming onion

Rice In

In goes the rice

Ready for the water

Ready for the water

Water added

Bring it to a boil, then cover

When the rice is tender, and almost all the water is evaporated or absorbed (the rice is just a little moist on the top), add another tablespoon or two of butter, and a lot of parmesan – at least 1/4 cup, but even more, if you like.

Adding the last ingredients

Add more butter and parmesan

Stir them together until that plain-looking rice turns into something deliciously cheesy.  For serving, I stuffed the rice into different size measuring cups, and popped the little “cakes” on top of each other, making a tower on the plate, then I sprinkled it with some parsley and paprika for a little color.

The ready cheesy rice

Its served!

It’s a great side to replace your ordinary rice or the boxed mixes – no additives here!  For a little twist, try tweaking with the seasoning ingredient: use American cheese instead of parmesan for a crossover of mac&cheese and rice; add some teriyaki sauce and cook a little longer to recreate a boxed favorite; or make it with the parmesan, but add in cooked or steamed carrots, peas, broccoli or other vegetables.  This last variation can also serve as a healthy work lunch, or a quick-fix for unexpected vegetarian guests at your party.

Enjoy your meal!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack permalink
    April 7, 2011 21:22

    My family tends to go the tomato sauce and salt route. This is definitely something I’m going to try myself next week. 🙂

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