Monday, September 13, 2010

What Can I Do With Fifty Six Pounds of Rice?

A couple weeks ago, Publix had their annual sale on rice. It's an incredible deal, a three pound bag for a dollar. They will let you buy four bags at a time. So, being the crazy food horder that I am, me or my husband hit Publix several times that weekend. We ended up with roughly fifty pounds, which when added to the rice that was left from last year's sale, gave us nearly sixty pounds of long grain white rice. I have a plethora of rice.

The first problem with purchasing this much rice is storage. Where do you put it all? And how do you keep the bugs from getting into it? I do two things: First, I emptied two of the bags into a gallon sized plastic milk jug that I'd cleaned out. Those plastic bags rice comes in are messy and fragile. When it's in a milk jug, I can pour it easily and the countainer is a bit sturdier for keeping insects out. Second, I packed the rest into my freezer. The cold will keep the bugs out and it also helps fill up my freezer so it'll run more efficiently. Double win.

The second problem is: What to DO with it? I haven't even mentioned yet the twelve pounds of parboiled rice my husband bought before he realized there was a difference. It's an ungodly amount of rice. Sure, I could just make rice and gravy for every meal from now until Christmas. Or I could steam it up alongside stir fries. Chicken and rice soup will probably happen as the weather cools.  But there's more you can do with rice than just let it soak up gravy.  It's a very versatile grain that can be the centerpiece of many meals.

One of the first things I did was make vegetarian Korean bibimbap, using this recipe from the New York Times as a guide. I left out the salmon, and I used blanched carrots, green beans and broccoli for the vegetable. Not traditional Korean cooking, I know. But tasty and different. Continuing with the Asian theme, I've also made Thai style fried rice a couple times. Just stir fry already cooked rice with egg, diced vegetables, soy sauce and some Thai basil from my garden. Add a little srirancha sauce for the heat and you've got a fast, tasty meal.  I've also got a ton of great curry recipes I've ganked from Smitten Kitchen and other places.

I've been working on a recipe for Arroz Con Pollo, which I'm almost ready to post. This combines chicken thighs, rice, beans and veggies with savory spices for an easy one dish meal. I've started looking at recipes for jambalaya and etouffee as well. I've got a great Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that has a little rice in it as well.  And I haven't even looked into the possibility of finding a rice pudding recipe my husband will actually eat.

Am I worried about the carbs? Not really. I exercise, though not as much as I should. And you've probably noticed a theme to my cooking suggestions here: vegetarian. I find that leaving out meat for a couple of meals helps keep the calorie content down. I'm not worried about the lack of vitamins in white rice, because I eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies in my daily diet.  As long as I'm not eating JUST rice, which would be gross, I'm not worried about my nutrition. Sure, there are plenty of more nutritionally dense grains out there, but I doubt I can but them for a dollar for three pounds. 

So over the next year, expect more rice recipes from me as I try to whittle down my stockpile before it overwhelms us. 

1 comment:

r. said...

You can find out how to make rice flour out of it. I would use it propotionally with all purpose flour in baking cookies or breads. I would also donate some of it to a food pantry; since rice is shelf stable it is one of the better things to donate. You also benefit from a small tax write off. Best of luck to you.