Rice & Leftovers: Just "Bung" Them Together! June 11, 2010

Filed under: Meals — sotsil @ 11:15 am
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rice with leftovers1

When I lived in Washington DC, I had a British colleague who often spoiled us with her home cooking.  She would put food on a fancy platter lined with "paper lace" (a.k.a. paper doily) and then go around offering everyone a nibble or two.  There were meals that she’d go all out for and they were excellent; other days she’d come up with "quickie" meals.  I’d ask her, "Ushi, how did you make this?"  Her answer:  "oh I just bung them all together."


The word "bung" stayed with me.  Maybe she meant to say "bang" but I distinctly remember the "uh" sound when she’d say "I just BUNG them all together."


Here’s a not-very-fancy rice dish that I put together by scavenging for leftovers in my fridge:  green seedless olives, Hungarian hot salami, green bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes.  The rice I use is one day old rice.  It would be more difficult to make fried rice when it’s fresh from the pot.  What I do is I take the leftover rice and store it in the fridge overnight.  The next morning I separate them with a fork – hard manual labor you bet – but definitely worth it.  I’m just teasing.  Separating the rice with a fork or masher is a no-brainer.  Takes 2 minutes – depending of course on how much rice you have.


After all the rice is separated, I heat a bit of oil in my fryer and throw the rice in.  Make sure your other ingredients are all cut up and ready.  After two minutes of swishing the rice around at medium heat, throw in your olives, peppers, salami and sun-dried tomatoes.  If I had some sesame oil in the cupboard, I’d probably sprinkle a few drops on the dish right before serving.


You can make your own rice dish by using cut up sausages, green onions, and yellow/green bell peppers for color.  Kalamata olives are also a good bet.  Next time, I think I’ll crush some peanuts and sprinkle them over the rice before serving, including a handful of bean sprouts to give the dish that zingy crunch.


Broccoli Need not be Boring! November 5, 2009

I don’t think broccoli itself is boring but we have it at least once a week – it’s the talk of health town.  It’s supposed to be rich in antioxidants, helping us ward off cancer.  It’s eating it once a week – steamed – that provokes this boring sentiment.  Aren’t all health foods somewhat boring anyway?

broco rice pilaf1

Which is why many cooks put on their creative caps to come up with different ways of eating this cruciferous vegetable.  You get plenty of casserole type recipes and Ms. Cheese is a frequent partner of Mr. Broccoli when they dance their way into the oven.  The broccoli and cheese pairing is also a great way to make kids eat it.  Try serving a four-year old plain steamed broccoli and you’ll get “arrrgh, gross!”

I found a recipe from the Dairy Farmers of Canada which was published in a Canadian Living Magazine newsletter I receive regularly.  The recipe is here:

At first I had doubts that this Broccoli Rice Pilaf would excite my taste buds but I’m glad I tried it.  So what’s the vote?  Is it a keeper or a pooper?

Keeper!  The recipe is now in my bulging binder and will be cooked again and again, especially during this winter.  This dish takes the boring out of broccoli and if you’re a rice lover like me, you’ll like the way it teases the palate.  It must be the combination of the grated cheese, rosemary, and rice that did it.  The first spoonful tells you that you’ll be back for seconds.  My brother had three huge servings. Despite the quantity that this recipe produced, it was devoured in no time.  I was hoping to eat it again on the second day, but by the time supper was over, platter was squeaky clean.  The next time, I’ll double the recipe.

Two things I would change: 

  • instead of the 1 cup hot water in the recipe, I would increase that to 1-1/2 cup (I found that after about 10-12 minutes, the liquids (you also add 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth) are absorbed quickly, even in medium heat.
  • instead of the 15-minute simmering time, I’d reduce that to 12 minutes.

The first step is to mix the butter, carrots, onions, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large pan for five minutes; you then add the rice, making sure the grains are well coated.

broc rice pilaf2 The rest of the recipe is easy (complete recipe is given in the link above – prep time 15 minutes, cook time 30 minutes).  If you’re serving it to guests, by the way, it would look nice on a plain colored platter.  In the picture above, I used a decorative platter.  Big mistake.  It clashed with the dish’s colors.  For the sake of good photography, I’d use a one-color serving platter for dishes that bring out a lot of colors. 

I think this broccoli rice pilaf dish would look festive against a black platter but I don’t have one.  I’m having guests from Toronto during the holidays and this recipe’s a good candidate for the menu so I just might run out and get myself one of those gleaming, all-black serving dishes.

Do visit the web site of Canadian Living Magazine –  They have a genuine variety of recipes that are well presented (prep and cooking times are provided along with nutritional information and tips for each dish).  I was also curious about the Dairy Farmers of Canada web site and I will use only one word to describe it:  sassy!  I’ve bookmarked it.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada web site has a lot to offer.  Easy to navigate interface with large fonts so that you’re not squinting; and the recipes, colors and images – well – they do work up an appetite!  They’ve got excellent articles about dairy health too.  And they run a huge network of web sites (I counted about eight) that promote milk, cheese health and nutrition.

And let me repeat what I said in the past.  I’m not getting paid or getting my arm twisted for promoting certain web sites.  I promote them because I like them.  You would like them too if you’re on the prowl for recipes!