Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIY Rice-a-Roni

The San Francisco treat has always been one of my favorite go-to side dishes for quick weeknight meals. Then it hit me - I was paying a lot of money for a box of rice and pasta (two of the cheapest foods on the planet) with some seasonings. Since I have been looking for ways to make more things from scratch (chicken broth, pumpkin seeds, granola cereal), I figured I would give this a try.

Whether you are trying to move away from processed foods like we are, or you just don't feel like buying something you can easily throw together at home, this recipe is for you. You can even make up little bags of this so it is ready when you are, just like the boxes.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni
Makes 4 servings

What I use:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. orzo or cut spaghetti (comes in a box, 1-inch pieces, or break your own)
  • 1/3 c. regular white rice (I like Jasmine)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed, or 2 tsp. powdered bouillon (or beef, depending on which flavor you are trying to recreate here)*
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 to 2 1/2 c. water
How I do it:

     1. In a small bowl, stir together the bouillon, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt.

     2. In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt the butter over medium heat.

     3. Add the pasta and rice and stir until the pasta starts to get a nice golden color, just a few minutes.

     4. Add 2 c. water and stir in the seasonings.

     5. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Depending on the pasta, you may need to add the rest of the water.

*You could also use chicken broth instead of the bouillon and water.

That's it! No more boxes!

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