Everyday Mom's Meals: Simple As 1-2-3

Friday, May 15, 2015

Simple As 1-2-3

Do you have a preference for which type of rice you use? I guess I should word that differently. Do you prefer to use "regular" rice or instant when you cook? For me, it really depends on the recipe. I will use whichever makes the dish the best it can be.

It might shock you to learn just how many questions I get on the subject. When I write a recipe I am always sure to list the specific kind of rice I used when I tested it. Now, that doesn't mean folks aren't welcome to use whichever they are most comfortable with, or happen to have on hand, but I can't guarantee results if substituted. But the #1 question I get asked when I post a dish using rice is "How do I cook non-instant rice?" It's such a convenient item, many have never bought a bag of "real" rice and simply don't know how to prepare it. So, I'm here today with an easy trick to remember how, and a tasty recipe to go with it.

Cooking rice is as simple as 1-2-3. And not, I'm not just being cute. It's a simple way to remember the method in which you use. 1 Cup of Rice Boiled in 2 Cups of Liquid= 3 Cups Cooked Rice. See how easy that is. Oh, and that liquid? It can be water, broth, stock, a combo of both...it doesn't matter, as long as it is 2 cups. Now even if you have always used the instant, you can easily remember how to work with the other stuff too.

Some of you might be asking why even bother? Well, bagged rice is one of the best economical options at your grocery store. A bag of long grain rice will run you about the same as a box of instant (or at least it does at my store) and last forever! Okay, maybe not that long, but you certainly get more product for your money.

To demonstrate my little trick, I needed a recipe to go along with it. This casserole is sure to become a favorite in your house, just like mine. Rice, meat, veggies, a Tex-Mex flavor...it's got a little bit of everything to satisfy everyone!

When it comes to rice, if you haven't cooked with the real stuff, I encourage you to try. And if you run into a pickle, think 1-2-3...and I'm sure it will be a huge success!

Tex Mex Rice Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. long grain white rice
2 c. water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 small white onion, chopped
5 green onions, chopped, whites and light green only
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. In a small pot, bring water and bouillon cubes to a boil. Add rice. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and white onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. In a small bowl combine cream cheese and taco seasoning. Add tomatoes, black beans, corn and cream cheese mixture to beef. Stir and cook until cheese melts and mixture is slightly thickened. In bottom of prepared dish, mix cooked rice and 1/2 c. shredded cheese. Top with meat mixture and sprinkle with other 1/2 c. cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through. Garnish with green onions. 

Shared on The Country Cook May 15, 2015

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