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lots of leftover rice - suggestions?

I LOVE rice. Jasmine, Basmati, long-grain, short-grain, brown, black, red, purple (okay not red and purple, but you get the picture.) When I cook for family, I usually hear, "do we have to have rice at EVERY meal?' (answer: yes, of course!) My rice cooker is on the counter in the place that a microwave is not - I use it that often. However, I live alone, and I end up tossing out tons of leftover rice. Ya can't just make a half-cup of rice and have it be tasty!

I've made enough rice pudding to last me for ages. Incorporated it into a few casseroles for the freezer - my take on a chicken divan casserole, mexican casserole, etc.

I like to pride myself on being an inventive cook, but y'all here are so creative, I figure I might glean a few tips! Thanks in advance, CHers!

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    1. re: monavano

      Use the rice to thicken any soup in place of cream....for a healthier version of *Cream of_____* soups. Add the stock to a blender along with the rice and then puree.

      1. fried rice
        rice omelet (with vegetables and other ingredients)

        1. enbell suggested several of my ideas already, so i'll add:
          - arancini
          - warm rice salad (toss with chopped grilled or steamed veggies and your favorite vinaigrette)
          - fried rice
          - red beans and rice
          - breakfast rice porridge

          1 Reply
          1. WHY on earth do you think cooking a 1/2 cup of rice is not tasty? Oh, I bet it because you wanna use your super -duper rice cooker. Well yeah, that thing does not do that well. BUT you can!
            I live alone and I adore rice. I think the red and purple one are amazingly cool. Depending on what I want ; I cook different portions. White..1/2 cup is fine, basmati (and jasmine in same catagory ) micro wave in heat up leftovers does great, so I cook more. The short dense grains ( my faves) I cook more! I can never imagining my ever needing a rice cooker. That would always mean I would have to make more than I can use in a reasonable time.
            I am suggesting your love of your rice cooker is the issue. Become one with the rice..not the rice cooker!

            8 Replies
            1. re: Quine

              I do so love that rice cooker, but you're right, I should give the 'becoming one with the rice' thing another go! Small amounts don't seem tasty to me 'cause they're either mush or rocks. I just cannot seem to get the temp right on the stove, even with a 'full batch' to make it be just right. I have never made satisfactory rice on the stove, which is why I got the (really cheap) cooker. Plus, I'm exceedingly lazy - the 'dump it in, push a button, walk away' method of cooking appeals to the slob in me!

              But, it's a long cold winter that doesn't seem to want to let up anytime soon, so I think I'll give it another go! Also, I think if I bought a heavier small pan, that might help, as well.

              BTW, IS there such a thing as red and purple rice? I think I just might have to check them out! Peace!

              1. re: southern_expat

                Black or forbidden rice will give you purple rice if mixed with white and not rinsed and soaked separately.

                1. re: southern_expat

                  Yes there is Red and purple rice, both I love. Try the heavy bottom tight lid sauce pan, and you really want to be able to turn the heat down low, you might need a flamer reducer, or you could try, once the water has come to a boil, throw the pan in a low oven.

                  Some people do rice in a rolling boil like noodles and drain after they reach perfection, this could be another trick you can try.

                  Besides if you really are lazy, just doing a few portions of rice takes less work that seeking then making many recipes to use up the leftovers!

                  1. re: Quine

                    I used the infernal 'super-duper rice cooker' again this evening, and figured out one more thing I like about it. If I leave it to warm for awhile after the cook cycle is done, the non-stick insert makes for a great crispy bottom crust (socarrat?) with really easy cleanup. Quine, you've really got me thinking, though! I plan to purchase a really good small non-stick saucepan and try out your suggestions! But I still do love my 15-buck rice cooker (thanks, Big Lots!)

                    Part of my mind-set in cooking the 2-cup water/1-cup rice method stems from my momma, who taught me that you just can't do it any other way! And of course, what momma says has to be gospel! But, I believe now that I can tackle smaller amounts.

                    Thanks again, y'all, for the suggestions. I'm an inveterate soul-food cook, but love to branch out. That's what's so wonderful about the feedback on this board!

                    1. re: southern_expat

                      Hard to go against what momma says, is true but there alot to be said for branching out. yeah your rice cooker does sound pretty nifty and Great Price. My go to rice pot is the same as hobbybaker's. It's a never fail. I usually don't measure when I cook rice though.

                      1. re: southern_expat

                        Feel free to ignore me as I'm about to contradict your mother, but in my experience, that 2:1 water:rice ratio always gives you mushy rice. I go no more than 1.25:1 (1 and 1/4 cup water to 1 cup rice) when making small quantities of rice in my rice cooker. For a larger amount ... my mother does the enough water to the point between the distal and intermediate phalanges of the forefinger, and that's good enough for me. :)

                        1. re: Ali

                          I would never in a million years ignore you, silly goose! I will definitely try your suggestion!

                          And don'tcha just love the 'measurements' moms and grandmoms give? Grandfather's, too - I call my 97-year old PaPat all the time for recipe advise (trying to compile our childhood memories before it's too late.) Most of his measurements are 'a little of this, a little of that,' and 'cook it until it looks right. Peace!

                    2. re: southern_expat

                      Hi, I cook my rice always with my 2qt Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Always great results even though I usually cook only a cup and half rice in it. So much better than with any other pots (All-Clad 2qt etc etc). Took only 10 minutes with medium heat.

                  2. You can use your leftover rice to make a gluten-free bottom "crust" for a breakfast quiche
                    rice pudding
                    nutella rice pudding
                    rice cakes
                    california rolls
                    rice baskets w/baked eggs
                    rice lasagna

                    1. ghg got the arancini and fried rice, both best with day-old rice. simply reheated with butter and soy sauce. in chicken soup with plenty of lemon juice. individual paella: saffron and chicken broth, peas, sliced roasted pepper, cooked chicken and a few shrimp, baked until warm through and shrimp are done.

                      a local guatemalan restaurant does mosh. a loose breakfast oatmeal with milk, and condensed milk, topped with sliced fruit. bet it would be good with rice instead. breakfast burrito with frijoles, rice, scrambled egg, cheese and salsa.

                      1. Expat, since you like rice, have you tried the Kashi 7-Grain pilaf? It comes in three one-cup envelopes to the box and is simply crazy delicious. I buy it in the local health food store in my town but see that it is available in bigger stores too. It takes about 25 minutes to cook and you can make it plain for breakfast or fancy for dinner. Well worth trying.


                        1. i used to make a faux rice pudding (often used brown rice actually, but...) by mixing cooked rice into cottage cheese with sweetener, cinnamon and vanilla, then nuking for a few seconds in the microwave til gooey.

                          Shrimp and Rice Cakes
                          1/2 cup flour
                          1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay
                          1 teaspoon baking powder
                          1 cup cooked shrimp, chopped
                          1/2 cup cooked (unsalted) wild rice
                          1/4 cup green onions, chopped
                          1/4 cans (1/2 stick) butter, melted
                          1/4 cup milk
                          2 eggs, beaten

                          Mix and either pan saute or bake. Serve with a blend of sour cream, green onions and Old Bay.

                          Stuffed Grape Leaves

                          Make a crust with rice, eggs, cheese of choice, and herbs. I often add lentils cooked as well. Spread in a baking dish, then top with veggies of choice. Mix eggs, milk, salt pepper and pour over the rice and veggies, then top with cheese or bread crumbs if desired. bake for 30 min at 350 til set...

                          Indian Spiced
                          1 teaspoon minced garlic
                          2 large brown onions diced
                          2 sprigs of curry leaves
                          1 teaspoon of garam masala powder
                          2 teaspoons of powdered chicken stock
                          1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional
                          )2 medium green chilies de-seeded and finely chopped
                          2 tbsp olive oil
                          2 tbsp butter
                          Salt to taste

                          Heat oil, saute onions with herbs except garam masala, until onions are browned, then add stock and masala. add in butter and salt to taste. Simmer, then mix in rice and heat through.

                          For Dessert, whirl some rice with berries and sugar in a food processor til a nice smooth puree. Layer in a parfait glass with fruit, creme anglaise and some lemon zest.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Hm, if I freeze it in those leetle snack-bags, I just might be able to wedge a few of them into the cracks between all the other stuff in the freezer! Not a bad idea!

                              thanks for all the suggestions, ya'll - I wasn't feeling particularly creative, and knew I'd get the best ideas here. Peace!

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I always cook more rice than I need, so that that I'll have some to freeze.

                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  And frozen rice makes for the best fried rice.

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  Add my vote for freezing it. I do it all the time. I vac seal it with my FoodSaver in 1 - or 2 - cup bags. There are times we want rice with something, but want a quick supper, frozen cooked rice hits the spot.

                                  I only use Basmati, brown when I can find it, so don't know how other types would freeze, but Basmati freezes well.

                                3. Expat...a few weeks ago in the NY Times, Bittman did a stir-fried rice with an egg on top
                                  which used left-over rice. I made it just like his recipe and it was a hit. DH who thinks
                                  eggs are "for breakfast only" also liked it. I don't have the link, but you might google
                                  Mark Bittman to see if you can find it. Red rice is at my market. Don't know about purple
                                  but it probably exists!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: amazinc

                                    you mean the Jean-Georges recipe with ginger? that sounded fabulous! here's the link:

                                  2. FYI - Sanyo makes a 3-cup rice cooker and you can make as little as 1 cup of rice with it. I have one and I love it - reheated rice is never quite as good.

                                    1. Nasi goreng is better when made with leftover rice... This recipe is similar to how I make it: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/187/n...

                                      However, I like the egg on top to be fried and over easy, not omelettey.

                                      1. Cold cereal the next morning with some sugar and cinnamon.
                                        Serve a roasted meat gravy over it - this, I could make a meal on by itself
                                        Beans and Rice assuredly
                                        Plain w/butter, salt and pepper as simple side

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                          Taken loosely from "Spice": Whisk an egg & a couple of tablespoons of greek yogurt together, mix in a couple of cups of leftover rice, salt to taste.

                                          Heat some oil & butter together in a cast iron skillet, and add rice in 1/2 cup scoops. Brown bottoms - about 6 minutes, then move to 350 oven for 10 minutes. Serve crust side up.