Mexican Sour Cream Rice

Pretty much everyone that knows me knows how much I adore my rice cooker.  I can’t help it!   When it finally dawned on me that I should have been using a rice cooker all these year, I had no idea where to start.  First I checked out Consumer Reports and then I went to Amazon.  I was so overwhelmed with rice cookers.  Who better to ask than my girl friend Matilde.  She and her family make rice just about every day!  Once I made the decision of which rice cooker to purchase, I haven’t looked back!  And am seriously considering a bigger version of the one I have.  A lot of lovely things come out of my rice cooker, including this dish!

Ingredients:

1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
4 oz diced green chiles (I omitted)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ¾) can yellow corn, drained (I used frozen)
¼ cup cilantro chopped (I omitted)
1 cup uncooked rice

Preparation:

In rice cooker, add rice and chicken broth.  Set it and forget it.  Or, if preparing in a pot, bring rice and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  When rice is done, in a large bowl mix sour cream, green chile peppers (if using), ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and cilantro with cooked rice.  Season with salt.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serves 4

Prep time 15: Total cooking time: 50 minutes

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

*Derived from Just a Pinch Recipes

Related articles


Epic Shrimp Fail

It happens to all of us, and this week it happened to me, We had such high hopes.  The food looked stunning.  There is no way this was not going to be amazing.  No way.  It was not.  Epic fail.  Makes me almost wonder if the actual recipe was just for photography.  Once I went back, when everyone, including myself, was refusing to eat this, there was nothing in there to give it flavor!  The only thing that turned out really good was the garlicky rice .  Did anyone else notice what happened there?  The rice, made in the rice cooker, was the best part of this meal.  I will rework this and re-post.  In the meantime, take a look at what could have been and why your mom always told you to not judge a book by its cover.

Shrimp Fail


Vegetable and Rice Burritos

I thought my favorite Disney movie was The Incredibles.  I loved everything about that movie.  The family sticking together, using their super powers to save the day.  Relying on old friends to thwart the mortal enemy, Syndrome.  My favorite character is Edna ‘E’ Mode.  I aspire to be her when I grow up (shhh, no one tell me I’m grown up).  And then, a few years later (3 to be exact, but who’s counting) I happened upon Ratatouille.  I felt like I could connect, no sillies, not from Remy’s perspective (ok, maybe a teensy bit).  I was almost broken-hearted when Linguine sends Remy away because he was caught between friend and family by allowing his family to raid the pantry.  But I digress.  This dish reminded me of Ratatouille as I was making it.  All of the vegetables, but some savory ingredients, too.  Basically, take vegetables and turn them into something everyone would want to eat.  Which brings me to this latest dish.  The best way to describe it is as ratatouille enveloped in a tortilla. What is that you say? Yes, a tortilla. And what is not to love about anything in a tortilla. Make Remy proud and use up vegetables that you have on hand. Oh, and as a side note, my affair with the rice cooker continues. I often stop and day-dream about what life was like before this perfectly perfect appliance debuted in my life. And you know what? I can’t remember.

Ingredients:

4 tsp canola oil, divided
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 tsp minced garlic , divided
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (I used frozen)
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
4 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded quesadilla cheese (can sub Monterey jack)

Preparation:

Heat 1 tsp oil in rice cooker.  Add rice and 1/2 tsp garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add 2/3 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt.  Cover and let rice cooker do it’s thing.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbs oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion; sauté 2  minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/2 tsp garlic and mushrooms; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add corn and zucchini; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 1/8 tsp salt and tomatoes; sauté 30 seconds or until tomatoes are thoroughly heated.  Remove vegetable mixture from pan.  Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat tortillas in same skillet.  Divide sour cream evenly among warmed tortillas; spread to a thin layer.  TOp each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese; about 1/4 cup rice mixture, and about 1/2 cup vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle each with cilantro.  Roll up each, tight.  Serve immediately.

Wine Paring Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Albariño
Alvarinho
Fume Blanc
Sancerre
(Or you can have a Corona like my husband did)

003

Serves 4
Hands-on time: 40 min; Total time: 40 min

*Derived from Cooking Light

Beef, Veggies and Rice

Sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table fast. Maybe it’s been a long day and you left work a little late. Or you finally made it to the pharmacy, after hopping the puddles of an early storm, only to discover the pharmacy is closed (is it that late already?). You’re finally home and frantically trying to put a meal together that does not include bags or boxes, but every movement is met with, “Mommy! He . . . ” or, “Mom! She . . .” It’s too early to call Calgon (totally dating myself. Do they even still make Calgon?) and no one has been fed. This recipe is tantamount to Calgon in that you can get a tasty, not processed meal on the table. Oh, and once again I’m singing the accolades of my rice cooker! Everyone quietly eating almost makes you think you are soaking in that bubbly warm bath, sipping your favorite glass of vino

Ingredients:

2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups rice
1 cup sliced carrot (buy them pre-sliced to save even more time for bubbles)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb top round steak, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips (Or save time and buy fajita steak. Are those bubbles I hear calling??)
1/4 cup onion chopped ( you can buy this pre-chopped, too. Think of it as having your own personal Sous chef)
1 cup fresh snap pea pods, strings removed (Who has time for this?? I subbed a cup of frozen peas)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preparation:

 To rice cooker, add broth and carrots. Set it and forget it. If you choose to not use a rice cooker: heat broth to boiling in 2 quart saucepan. Stir in rice and carrots. Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer 6-8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

While rice cooks, heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and onion tender. Stir in cooked rice and carrots, peas, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender. Add a small amount of water if it becomes dry before peas are tender.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Merlot
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Petit Sirah

 Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes

photo (4)

*Derived from Pillsbury

Risotto with Beans and Vegetables

Oops I did it again! I played with your heart . . . Oh wait,wrong sentiment. Well, a little. I did do it again, I made a wonderful risotto in the rice cooker!  It’s almost daily now that I am looking at the rice cooker and thinking, “Hmmm. . . ”  I wonder if I stuff some laundry in there it will magically be cleaned and folded.  Oh, oh, oh!  I’ve got it!  Can I shove my computer in their and all of my scopes of work and subcontractor matrices come out DONE!!  Bim Bam!  Because that’s how I am viewing my wonderful little rice cooker now, it’s this magical little pot.  I’m not sure how it does what it does.  I don’t even care.  Just as long as it keeps bubbling away and turning out amazing food.  (The laundry would help, too, though.)

Ingredients:

3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I bought presliced cremini)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup finally chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 15 oz can low sodium cannellini, pinto, or black beans; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (plus about a handful more for topping when ready to serve)

Rice Cooker Preparation:

Turn rice cooker on, once it’s heated add 2 Tbs olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir about 5 more minutes or until rice is golden brown.  Add 3 cups of broth, zucchini and carrots, stir to combine all ingredients.  Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes, rice should be slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; cover and heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Non-Rice Cooker Preparation:

In medium sauce pan bring broth to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until needed.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown.

Slowly add 1 cup of broth to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1/2 cup of broth, zucchini, and carrots to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth is absorbed. (THis should take about 20 minutes).

Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into rice mixture.  Cook and stir until rice is slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy,
Chardonnay,
Nebbiolo,
Pinot Noir,
Sangiovese,
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes

photo (3)

*Derived from BHG

Mushroom Risotto

Here we are on another meatless Monday and just wait until you see what I’ve got for you! I love to make risotto and have several recipes, but this one was truly amazing. What I liked about this recipe: I cheated and made it in the rice cooker, while it was bubbling away I was able to quickly browse the newest Cooking Light. What I would do different: not a thing, well, maybe add some shrimp on a non meatless day. When I was envisioning this meal today, I had no intention of cheating and using the rice cooker. And I didn’t even get home late! But someone stopped by to see The Hubs about a paver project and I spent more time tracking The Hubs down, then standing out in the front yard while they talked on my phone; by that time the kids were racing in the front yard and didn’t want to come in. So, I got started much later than I thought and the rice cooker suddenly looked interesting. I had no idea how wonderfully the flavors would come together and how soft, but not mushy, the rice would be. It’s really exciting when something off-the-cuff turns out this well!  PS – Wow does this reheat well for lunch!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter plus 2 tsp for the finish
2 Tbs minced shallot (I used yellow onion b/c it was what I had on hand)
1 cup plus 2 Tbs medium grain risotto (I used Arborio)
1 – 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cups chicken stock (to make vegetarian, sub vegetable broth)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Salt

Preparation:

Set the rice cooker for the Quick Cook or Regular cycle.  Add olive oil and butter in the rice cooker bowl.  When the better melts, add the shallots or onion.  Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add rice and stir until grains are evenly coated and hot.  Cook, stirring occasionally until grains are mostly transparent, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, stir for a minute or two.  Add the stock; stir to combine.  Close lid and reset for the Porridge or Regular cycle and set a timer for 20 minutes.  When the cooker switches to the Keep Warm cycle or the timer sounds, stir risotto.  The risotto should have only a bit of liquid left and the rice al dente.  If needed, cook for a few minutes longer.

When ready to serve, add the butter.  Close the lid for about a minute to allow butter to melt.  Stir in cheese and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 35 minutes

 Mushroom Risotto 2

*Derived from the Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook

 Related articles


Asparagus-Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan

I love risotto.  I love everything about risotto.  The comfort food feel you get from it.  The rich taste.  The creamy texture.  My risotto recipes have been “go to”s for me for years.  And I completely forgot I had this one.  The kicker, the rice you use has to be pre-cooked.  Um, what?  Who has time for that?  That’s when the little light bulb went “Pop” over my head.  I don’t own a rice cooker for nothing!  Wow, what a huge difference that made.  And I could have the rice cooker going while I was prepping and cooking the asparagus and mushrooms.  Brilliant!

001

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
6 cups sliced mushrooms (any combination cremini, oyster, etc.)
1 tsp dried thyme
4 cups cooked Arborio rice (I doubled this because it was our main dish for dinner, if you’d like it as a side, reduce to 2 cups)
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

To cook the Arborio in the rice cooker, I added 2 cups of rice and 5 cups of chicken broth (had I read ahead, i would have used beef broth, but I don’t think it had a huge impact on the taste).  The very basic cooker I have has an on / off and warming button (I’m hoping to get an upgrade, *hint hint to my Hubs).  So I just hit the on button and let it do its work while I prepped the rest of the meal.

Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Cook 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.  Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes, until tender and releasing juice.  Add thyme and cook 1 minute.  Add rice, broth, and asparagus and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in parmesan and chopped parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 15 minutes

002

*Derived from Robin Miller / Food Network