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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.