September is National Rice Month. Rice can be used throughout your menu in appetizers, soups, side dishes, entrees, salads and desserts. Rice adds interest to and enhances the appeal and taste of any meal, whether it be an exotic curried pork, homestyle fried chicken or a colorful salad. What other product can you keep on a shelf and always have ready to use in almost any recipe?
There is no waste to rice. Uncooked rice can be stored indefinitely on a shelf and you can store cooked rice up to one week in a refrigerator. Rice doesn’t spoil, sprout, shrivel or lose nutritional value. Fast, easy preparation makes rice still economical. Just follow the package directions, or if instructions are unavailable, remember the formula 2 to 1 (two parts liquid to one part rice) for perfect rice every time. No washing, peeling or slicing needed with rice. All you do is measure, pour and cook and with some products this is not necessary! There are many good rice products that can be cooked in the microwave in its own package for 60 to 90 seconds. The Jackson County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee believes that anytime, anywhere, with just about anything, you’ll love the variety rice provides. They encourage you to check out the new rice products available and make “Everyday a RICE Day!” CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE 1 (14 ½ ounce) can French Style Green Beans, drained and rinsed 3 cups diced cooked chicken 1 medium onion, diced and sautéed 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 1 (4-ounce- can pimentos, drained 1 (10 ¾ ounce) can mushroom soup 1 cup mayonnaise 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese Pinch salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly. Serves: 6-8 servings This is a great dish for “RUSH” times as football season. This dish can be made up the night before then baked the next day. Rotisserie chicken can be used for the diced chicken. If you don’t like green beans substitute black beans (this adds more fiber and protein to the dish.) French Fried onions or cracker crumbs can be sprinkled over the top of the casserole and extra sprinkle of cheese on top is tasty. MEXICAN RICE 2 tablespoons butter 1 ½ cups long-grain rice 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 1 glove garlic, minced 2 cups water 1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded cheese In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, peppers and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in the water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 17 minutes. Stir in the cheese and transfer to a serving bowl. Serves: 8 t0 10 servings This side dish is good served with Fajitas or Salsa Chicken. To make it a main dish just add sausage. MUSHROOM & RICE FRITTATA 1 1/2 cups of cooked Brown rice 5 large eggs 2 egg whites 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, divided 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped red onion 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried 1 pound mixed mushrooms (cremini, white button, shiitake), sliced 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), chopped Cook rice according to package directions. Beat eggs and egg whites in a large bowl with parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat. Add onion and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in rosemary, than add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they release their liquid and the pan is dry, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in the rice. Pour the reserved egg mixture evenly over the rice and vegetables. Partially cover and cook until set around the edges, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and prosciutto. Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves: 6 servings This recipe is flavorful medley of chewy brown rice and three kinds of mushrooms, this satisfying frittata is perfect for Sunday or holiday brunch or a week-end supper. Don’t worry if you can only find one kind of mushrooms-the richly aromatic top of baked Parmesan and crisp prosciutto will make up for it. Remember, Make Every Day a RICE Day!