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Thread: Making Rice-a-Roni

  1. #1
    Guest

    Default Making Rice-a-Roni


    I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    but the sodium content really puts me off.

    I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.

    Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    ( spices too, of course )

    Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    Problem is...
    by the time the rice has cooked,
    the orzo pasta has turned to mush !

    Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?


  2. #2
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    On Mar 9, 7:26*am, "<RJ>" <baran...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    > Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    > Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    > ( spices too, of course )
    >
    > Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    > Problem is...
    > by the time the rice has cooked,
    > the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    > Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? *ideas ?


    add the orzo later in the process.....let the rice get about half way
    done then add the pasta....

  3. #3
    Tracy Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni



    <RJ> wrote:
    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    > Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    > Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    > ( spices too, of course )
    >
    > Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    > Problem is...
    > by the time the rice has cooked,
    > the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    > Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?


    I haven't had Rice-a-roni in a long time but I think it has rice
    and vermicelli, not orzo.
    In any case, I'd try cooking the orzo or whatever pasta you use,
    separately, maybe in broth so you get the added flavor.

    -Tracy

  4. #4
    Dimitri Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni


    "Tracy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:hn5q5m$or$[email protected]..
    >
    >
    > <RJ> wrote:
    >> I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    >> but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >>
    >> I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >>
    >> Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    >> Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    >> ( spices too, of course )
    >>
    >> Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    >> Problem is...
    >> by the time the rice has cooked,
    >> the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >>
    >> Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?

    >
    > I haven't had Rice-a-roni in a long time but I think it has rice and
    > vermicelli, not orzo.
    > In any case, I'd try cooking the orzo or whatever pasta you use,
    > separately, maybe in broth so you get the added flavor.
    >
    > -Tracy



    Correct on the vermicelli

    Dimitri


  5. #5
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 08:26:49 -0700, "<RJ>" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    >but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    >I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    >Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    >Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    >( spices too, of course )
    >
    >Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    >Problem is...
    >by the time the rice has cooked,
    >the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    >Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?


    I cook rice and orzo 50/50 all the time, usually as a pilaf. You're
    probably over cooking (and using too much liquid too) so naturally the
    orzo will become mushy (so will the rice). I skimp on liquid, like 1
    3/4 cups per cup of grains... and I deduct for any liquid in veggies
    (onion, celery, peppers, 'shrooms, even garlic and parsely adds
    substantial liquid, even fat counts as liquid). I bring all to a
    boil, a quick stir, slap the lid back, and immediately turn the heat
    down to below a simmer... 12 minutes later remove the pot from the
    heat with no peeking and leave covered for a for a full ten minutes,
    fool proof perfect.



  6. #6
    Nan Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    FWIW I do this with Oriental flavor ramen noodles, broken up in small
    pieces. Saute in butter til brown then add water, and 1/2 of the
    seasoning mix(speaking of oversalted!yikes!) and about 6 - 8 small
    raw, shelled, tail off, frozen shrimp. Don't over cook, or shrimp will
    be tough. I don't use as much water as called for either, makes it
    thicker. A great quick, meal of last resort when I don't feel like
    cooking. And no reason not to try other flavors with different meats.
    Nan in DE

  7. #7
    Melba's Jammin' Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "<RJ>" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    > Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    > Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    > ( spices too, of course )
    >
    > Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    > Problem is...
    > by the time the rice has cooked,
    > the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    > Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?
    >


    Saute them separately and add the orzo later?

    I make Mom's Nicer Roni (my own recipe) for my kids at Christmas. They
    like the Rice-a-Roni and I am appalled at how salty it is. I use broken
    pieces of vermicelli instead of orzo, though. And I brown them together.

    Throw in some herbs.


    --
    -Barb, Mother Superior, HOSSSPoJ
    http://web.me.com/barbschaller
    Bean soup with sausage and kale, 3-1-2010

  8. #8
    aem Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    On Mar 9, 7:26 am, "<RJ>" <baran...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    > Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    > Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    > ( spices too, of course )
    >
    > Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    > Problem is...
    > by the time the rice has cooked,
    > the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    > Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?


    My version uses vermicelli instead of orzo. Half as much as the
    rice. Stir both in butter or chicken fat until rice changes color and
    vermicelli is slightly browned. We like chicken broth instead of
    beef. For 1 cup rice and 1/2 cup vermicelli (broken into small
    pieces, of course) I use up to 2 cups broth or a little less. Simmer
    about 17 minutes, remove from heat and leave covered for ten minutes.
    I don't think it needs any salt or pepper or herbs or spices. If I
    were going to use beef broth I might consider a tiny bit of thyme just
    because I think thyme nearly always enhances beef flavor.

    Sometimes I start by sweating a little minced onion. Every now and
    then (we eat this a lot) I have a little minced celery to add. Once I
    added minced carrot but we didn't like that so much. Sometimes I add
    some minced parsley (flat leaf) when I fluff it up at the end.

    I can't say how this resembles rice-a-roni because I haven't had that
    for probably 40 years. But I can say that it's good. -aem

  9. #9
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    "<RJ>" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.



    RJ,

    You didn't mention which flavor Rice-a-Roni.

    Looking at their website they have some "low sodium" beef and chicken
    versions but not as "low sodium" for my blood pressure.

    I rang up Trader Joe's and asked Liz about a similar kind of product, as
    their products are minimally processed. Nothing I could guess fits the
    bill with the rice and vermicelli and flavors.

    The NE USA region TJs had a fantastic Spanish (Mexican?) rice that was
    dropped. Except for missing the pasta of rice-a-roni, it was next to no
    sodium and healthy in most aspects. If you have a TJs near you and like
    Spanish rice, ring them up and ask if they carry it in your region. It
    comes in a 3" x 3" x 6" tall orange box. Makes enough as a side dish to
    serve six of you or three of me!

    You could separately cook an amount of the pasta and add it in before
    serving.

    Good luck.

    Andy and his 2

  10. #10
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    Andy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >You could separately cook an amount of the pasta and add it in before
    >serving.


    For folks who can't cook the two together that method gives them
    double the opportunity to screw up.


  11. #11
    gloria.p Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    <RJ> wrote:
    > I really enjoy Rice-a-Roni,
    > but the sodium content really puts me off.
    >
    > I figured I could conjure up a batch using pantry items.
    >
    > Saute rice and orzo until "golden".
    > Add a can of beef broth, cover and cook.
    > ( spices too, of course )
    >
    > Results tasted good.... definitely not salty.
    > Problem is...
    > by the time the rice has cooked,
    > the orzo pasta has turned to mush !
    >
    > Maybe a "tougher" pasta ? ideas ?
    >



    Saute separately, cook the rice in broth and herbs, add the
    pasta/orzo just before cooking has finished,

    gloria p

  12. #12
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    brooklyn1 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Andy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>You could separately cook an amount of the pasta and add it in before
    >>serving.

    >
    > For folks who can't cook the two together that method gives them
    > double the opportunity to screw up.



    Winging it without knowing the box's actual ratio of rice to pasta is going
    to be just as difficult to get right even for folks who can cook.

    Andy

  13. #13
    brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    On Tue, 09 Mar 2010 14:53:43 -0600, Andy <[email protected]> wrote:

    >brooklyn1 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Andy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>You could separately cook an amount of the pasta and add it in before
    >>>serving.

    >>
    >> For folks who can't cook the two together that method gives them
    >> double the opportunity to screw up.

    >
    >
    >Winging it without knowing the box's actual ratio of rice to pasta is going
    >to be just as difficult to get right even for folks who can cook.
    >
    >Andy


    I've never seen a product in a box/bag containing both rice and orzo.
    I always eyeball about half and half but that ratio can be anything
    and sometimes I've been short on orzo so used less and used more rice
    and vice versa... been making this basic dish some 50 years with more
    versions than I can remember. The ratio of rice to orzo makes not a
    whit of difference... all that matters is ratio of liquid to solid,
    time, temperature, and method. I've made this with any brand of
    ordinary long grain and even basmati and any brand of orzo. I'm not a
    big fan of plain rice so make it rarely. I even use the rice/orzo
    blend for fly lice. I use the blend of rice and orzo for just about
    all rice dishes, never tried for rice pudding but then I don't make
    rice pudding anymore, last time had to be early '60s aboard ship.

    I'm pretty sure that Rice-A-Roni uses precooked/instant rice and
    noodles... if I remember correctly it's more like a minute rice
    dish... haven't made it since my daughter was a rug rat, some 40 years
    ago. In fact she visited this past weekend with the two grands (3 &
    5), who are very picky eaters, so she brought two boxes of kraft mac
    n' cheese... last I ate that was also when she was a rug rat. I
    tasted it, I had forgotten how awful it is... after she left I hand
    washed the pot and dishes, turned my sink water lurid orange. I only
    tried that one taste, was quite a bit left over, got tossed out for
    the critters.... birds like it, contained a whole stick of butter, but
    all I had was no fat milk or regular evap, she used fat free. I have
    plenty of real food that I think kids like but they wanted none of it,
    not even my version of of ricearoni... I have tube steaks, PB n'
    Jellee, tuna, an assortment of cheese, eggs, fresh fruit/canned fruit,
    all kinds of dry cereals, pasta, home made sauce, I even have like a
    dozen burgers, real, not mystery, and lots more... but they wanted
    none of that. Oh well, good it was only a four hour visit.





  14. #14
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Making Rice-a-Roni

    brooklyn1 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Oh well, good it was only a four hour visit.



    Gilligan,

    Better than a three hour tour..!

    .... a three hour tour!

    <VBG>

    Best,

    Andy

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