I always loved rice-a-roni as a kid, but when I became aware of chemical additives, food dyes, and that fact that paying 3$ a box for something which contained food that cost less than 50 cents didn’t make sense or fit my budget, I gave up on it. Then one day while reading through a “make-it-yourself for cheap” type cookbook from the library, I found the idea for making your own rice-a-roni.
One benefit of making your own is that you can choose the rice, noodles, and salt in the broth. I used brown rice, and I would use wholewheat pasta if I had it on hand.
Basically you mix half rice and half broken spaghetti together, using that as the base. Then you use twice the rice-noodle amount of broth (stock, homemade, powder, whatever!) in your flavor (chicken, beef, veg) and cook! I thought the noodle part would get super soggy as you only cook pasta for 8 minutes, not 20 like rice – but it works – at least for me!
I always toast rice (this helps with cook time, especially with brown) before cooking for about 5-10 min in a 375’F oven on a tray. I did the noodles and rice mix this way too.
1 cup brown basmati rice (toasted)
1 cup broken spaghetti noodles (toasted)
4 cups beef bouillion from a tetra pack
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
garlic onion oil for pot
Heat some oil in a good rice-cooking pot, and saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add rice/noodle mix and continue to saute until rice is fragrant and coated with oil.
Add broth to pot, bring to a boil, then cover pot with a clean dishcloth, and then the lid. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes at a very low temperature, remove from heat, let stand for 5-10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.