Homemade Rice-a-Roni

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!

Toasted rice and noodles.

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.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni

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.

Just before adding broth.

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.

Simmering rice with a cloth under the lid – not sure why this works so well, but it does!

Voila, its almost the San Francisco Treat!  I hope Rice-a-Roni doesn’t sue for copyright violation!

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