Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cheesy baked rice......from leftovers!

I was inspired to create this after taking a peek at what was left in my refrigerator. I had some fried eggs (leftover from RG's sandwiches), meat sauce (leftover from my spaghetti bolognese) & cooked rice.
I just had to add a few more extra ingredients like frozen vegetables (I love their vibrant colors!)......
......& shredded cheeses.
Now you'll love how EASY it is to make this........STEP 1: dump all your ingredients (rice+frozen veg+egg+meat sauce+shredded cheese) into a huge mixing bowl.
STEP 2: Add any additional seasonings of your choice. I didn't even add salt/pepper 'cos my meat sauce was quite well seasoned already.
STEP 3: Mix everything together.
STEP 4: Spread the rice mixture into a casserole dish & sprinkle an even layer of cheese on top.
STEP 5: Place the casserole dish, top covered with foil, in the preheated oven (390F) and bake for 5-10min. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15min or until the cheese at the top is nicely browned. Do watch closely as the cheese might brown quite fast.

STEP 6: Remove from oven, cool slightly and EAT!!!
The rice mixed with the meat sauce tasted kinda like spanish rice - a little tangy from the tomato-sauce base. And the oozing cheeses at the top......oooohlaalaaaaaa! You can easily substitute the ingredients if you don't have the same leftovers as me...haha. For example, instead of the meat sauce, you could use some pasta sauce/tomato-based soup or even some creamy soups like cream of mushroom or chicken and add in some chunks of chicken breast/ham/sausages. If you don't have frozen vegetables, you can use fresh vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots etc. If you don't have rice, you can use pasta. Just be creative and have fun!

What I really like about this creation is that I could put it together effortlessly and ahead of time if I want to. After assembling the dish, I need only to put a cling wrap over the casserole and leave the dish in the refrigerator and take it out only when I'm ready to bake. It's really good for those who are working....you can prepare the dish on weekends and leave it in the refrigerator to chill, then just pop it in the oven to bake when you return home from work. You'll be able to enjoy a yummy home-cooked meal without having to spend a lot of time/effort preparing, cooking and washing after a long hard day of work. If you've got leftover of the baked rice, you can put it back into the refrigerator and reheat it in the oven/microwave the next time you want to eat it again.

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