Do you ever suffer from over abundance leftover cooked rice syndrome? You’re not alone. Tens of times each year, people like you and me cook more rice than we need. And by doing so, we are faced with the decision of how to use up those leftovers in an appealing and tasty fashion.
Today, I was forced to face my leftover cooked rice demons.
First of all, let me just put this out there. A good rice, I do not make. Without the aid of a rice cooker, on every occasion, my rice will be over cooked and soggy, or under cooked and burnt. I have followed directions religiously, and I have watched others cook rice beautifully. No matter what I do or how I try, rice hates me.
Fortunately, whenever I make rice, I never serve it as is; there’s always other ingredients or the rice becomes a smaller part of an overall recipe. The leftover rice I’m working with today is from last night’s dinner. The rice I had to work with tonight was slightly over cooked and now, it was cold and a solid lump from being packed tightly into a foodsafe container and refrigerated for 20+ hours. But, that didn’t matter; you see, this recipe would work well with over cooked rice and would allow for a creamy, cheesy consistency when done, which would hide the fact that I can’t cook rice. That, of course, is moot now that I’ve come out and told you all.
I started by sauteeing some cremini mushrooms in butter and olive oil in a large saute pan. On high medium to high heat, I let them cook until they were golden brown and had shrunk tremendously. You can saute your mushrooms for as long as you want. I just prefer to have mushrooms cooked until they are very meaty and little moisture is left inside them.
While the mushrooms were sauteeing, in a smaller pan, saute the onion until translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove both the mushrooms and the onions to a bowl.
While the large saute pan is still hot, toss the broccoli into the pan and turn off the heat. Move the broccoli around gently to prevent burning, while the pan cools. After 5 minutes, remove the broccoli from the pan and place it in the bowl with the mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the large saute pan and turn the heat to medium. When the butter is almost melted, add the milk. Stir until the milk starts to steam. DO NOT allow the milk to boil! Toss in the cooked rice and stir until the rice loosens and the mixture looks soupy.
Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add back in the broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Add the nutmeg, parmesan, salt and pepper.
With two spatulas, toss the ingredients together, allowing the vegetables to be completely covered by the rice and milk mixture.
Continue to cook on medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes longer. In the meantime, be sure to taste for seasoning and salt/pepper accordingly.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head of fresh broccoli)
- 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
There you have it! A simple, yet tasty dish, which will satisfy the pickiest eater (especially those who complain about leftovers!) And, this is a sure-fire way of hiding the fact that you can’t cook rice, and you often prepare enough food for four when you’re feeding only two. But, who needs to know!? Right?