Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rice: Savory and Sweet

A buttery pile under a puddle of gravy?  Sign me up.  In a pudding?  You betcha.  The intensely nutty aroma of a perfectly steamed basmati with spicy Indian food?  Heavenly.

How about mixed with cheese and bacon, formed into patties and FRIED.  Oh, yeah.
Plate of Rice Fritters

These are Rachael Ray's fab Cheesy Rice Fritters as mentioned in the previous post.  I made two changes, though.   She called for shredded mozzarella cheese; I used a four-cheese Italian cheese blend to bump up the flavor.  She also called for frying said patties in bacon drippings.  I will try that eventually.  I used olive oil here--a little more heart-friendly, especially since these accompanied the rich beef entree.

The ingredients and equipment (parchment-lined baking sheet, hot skillet) must be assembled before preparing the recipe.  Use a light breadcrumb coating on the patties.  If you really pack on the crumbs, they will just fall off into the oil and burn.   I'm happy to report that they reheat beautifully (midnight snack, wink, wink) and they freeze well.
Fritter Mise en Place

Rice should be stored in a tightly-capped glass jar or plastic container.  Only wooden utensils should touch cooked rice.  The grains are delicate and easily smashed.  I love my Mario Batali risotto spoon.  I love it even more because Kitchen and Company had it on clearance for $5!

Rice is nice when it's sweet, of course.  My very favorite rice pudding is found at the Norway pavilion at EPCOT (Disney World in Orlando, FL).  For almost twenty years now, it's the first thing I seek out when I get there.

It's made with arborio rice as well.  The dense quality of the rice is lightened with freshly whipped cream, just enough sugar and topped with a tangy sauce made with strawberry preserves and fresh lemon juice.  The rice pudding is served well-chilled in wine glasses and topped with a thick layer of the sauce.  At home, I usually lack the patience for this.  I just scoop it into a bowl and drizzle on the sauce.
Rice Cream

Click here for the recipe:  Rice Cream with Strawberry Sauce.  A pinch of nutmeg is delicious in this recipe.
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