I don’t know about you, but I for one am not very good at estimating the amount of rice I need for a meal so I often end up with leftovers languishing in my fridge. Apart from doing the usual egg-fried rice for dinner the following day, I found that I needed to discover different ways of using up this leftover staple ingredient. While I know that rice is not an expensive ingredient, I abhor waste and don’t like throwing perfectly good food in the bin. So I came up with some ideas which I would like to share with you.
Rice as Pastry
Bear with me on this one; I know it sounds strange, but trust me, it works!
As long as you have around 250-300gm of cooked rice, you will have enough to fit an 8-9” pie dish. Simply combine the rice with a beaten egg and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. I sometimes add some chopped herbs if I have any hanging about, or a little finely chopped chilli. When the ingredients are well mixed, use to line a greased pie dish, pressing into the corners with your hands and then fill with your favourite quiche filling and bake. It comes out with no problem and very little in the way of rice loss!
Deep Fried Rice Balls
These are absolutely delicious and well known in Italian cuisine. It’s also a good way of using up leftover risotto known as arancini.
Mix together cooled rice with grated parmesan cheese, chopped herbs and some breadcrumbs made from stale bread. Roll into bite-sized balls and then deep fry until golden. These are lovely when served as canapés or can be made into a heartier meal by adding a simple tomato sauce made from passata, olive oil and basil and served up with crusty bread.
Maple Syrup Rice Pudding
An indulgent-tasting treat which can easily be served for breakfast the next morning. Simply mix the rice with milk, sugar, cinnamon or cardamom, (or both,) and bring to the boil, adjusting the amount of milk to thin down if necessary. You can also add sultanas or raisins if desired. Add a swirl of maple syrup to the top and a spoonful of cream if you have any for a tasty dessert or breakfast dish.
Peppers are another item we sometimes find lurking in the fridge drawer and this is a super recipe for changing them into something tasty and interesting.
Add chopped ham, onion, mushrooms, grated cheese and anything else you can find which is tasty to you and your family and use to stuff hollowed-out peppers before roasting. Leave out the ham for a vegetarian dish or to serve instead of veg as a side dish to a roast for a nice change from the usual.
Easy-Peasy Fruit Custard
Sounds strange, but tastes delicious!
Grease a pie dish and spread the cooked, cooled rice into the base. Mix a whisked egg with around 200ml of milk, a pureed banana and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and pour onto the rice. Push some raspberries or other fruit into the milk mixture and then bake at 180c for around 40 minutes or until set.