Tuesday, February 1, 2011

homemade rice-a-roni

I have a been a fan of Rice-a-Roni for a long time. We used to have it with many a meal. But I got out of the habit of cooking it for some reason. 

A few months ago, I wanted to make some for dinner, but not a box of it was to be found in my pantry. So I searched the what-would-I-do-without-it web for a homemade version of the recipe. I combined a few difference recipes I found and this is the end result. It is just as easy ~ I swear! ~ as the box but without any the preservatives and added salt. I think it just might even be cheaper. And these are ingredients that commonly lurk in my cupboards.

3/4 cup long grain rice (not the 5-minute stuff)
1/2 cup vermicelli or thin spaghetti ~ in pieces
2 2/3 cup liquid ~ I use a 14.5 oz. can of broth + water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup parsley

The first time I made it I broke up little pieces of thin spaghetti. About half of it landed in my measuring cup and the other half flew all over the kitchen. Then I happened upon this little bag of time-saving goodness when I wasn't even looking for it. I think it was nestled in the Mexican food section of the store. I can't remember the exact cost, but I'm thinking it was 50 cents. Wha? Meet my new best friend.

Saute the rice and pasta in a skillet with about 2 tablespoons of butter until the pasta pieces are browned. Watch this carefully because it goes from not brown to oh-crap! in a matter of seconds it seems. My picture is just the beginning of brown because I didn't want to miss the right time with my face behind the camera.

When the pasta pieces are brown, add the liquid. If you want a beef flavor, use beef broth instead of chicken.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is done.

Ta-da! Homemade in the same amount of time and the same amount of effort really. As I was typing the list of ingredients, it occurred to me that the night I made this I used a quarter teaspoon of parsley instead of a quarter cup. Ooops. It was still good.

This is such a simple, basic recipe that can be altered to fit your taste or the meal it will be served with. Play around with the spices a little and see what you can come up with.

Hop over to 33 Shades of Green for the Tasty Tuesday bloghop. There are some amazing recipes posted.

What are you cooking today?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to make rice a roni too but haven't in forever but bought it at the store this week and am having it tonight. Next time I will use your recipe because I don't like to buy "processed" food. Thanks!