Monday, November 11, 2013

U.S.A. Rice Recipe Challenge [Recipe]

I am so glad that U.S.A. Rice contacted me with a recipe challenge where I was to try one of the recipes they provided. This is a great opportunity for me since as you may know, although I do love cooking from time to time I never follow a recipe and tend to just throw a dish together.

 Interesting Facts & Figures :
~ Nearly 65% of rice consumed in Canada is grown in the U.S
 ~ Canada produces no rice of its own. Canadian wild rice is not true rice, but the seed of an aquatic grass.
~ The U.S. is one of the largest exporters of rice, supplying 12% of the rice that enters world trade. Approximately 50% of the U.S. rice crop is exported to more than 100 countries.
~ Rice has been produced in the U.S. for more than 300 years.
~ The U.S. produces over 40 commercial varieties of rice each year in paddy, brown, white, parboiled and precooked forms.
~ One seed of rice yields more than 3,000 grains. It is highest yielding cereal grain and can grow in many kinds of environment and soils.

 I am a total Chinese who eat jasmine rice most of the time while at home, so I decided to get brown rice for the challenge. I usually use a rice cooker but this time I decided to try making it on the stove, although more complicated/time consuming where you need to keep an eye on compare to the rice cooker but I like to put it on a little higher heat than recommended so I can get some slightly burn crispy rice at the bottom to munch on.

 What's the difference between white and brown rice?
Brown rice is rice from which only the hull has been removed while the rice has been completely milled, removing the bran layers for white.

I end up deciding to make the Leftover Turkey and Rice Tortilla Soup (recipe here).  

Tortilla Strips:
4 small flour tortillas
1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 sweet yellow or red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 ml) each chili powder and ground cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pepper
4 cups (1 L) homemade turkey stock or sodium-reduced chicken broth
1 cup (250 ml) tomato-vegetable cocktail or turkey stock
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) cooked U.S. long-grain white rice
2 cups (500 ml) diced cooked turkey

Tortilla Strips: Pre-heat oven to 325°F (160°C). Brush tortillas all over with oil; stack and cut in half. Stack again and slice crosswise into thin strips. Separate strips and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 10 to 20 minutes or until crisp. Let cool.

Soup: In Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; fry onion, yellow pepper and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 30 seconds.

Add stock, tomato-vegetable cocktail, diced tomatoes and beans; bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in rice and turkey; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with tortilla strips and garnishes on the side

Instead of the diced cooked turkey, I used chicken instead. I just gave the chicken tight that I had a quick marinade of salt, pepper and soy sauce, bake for around 30-45 minutes and hand pulled them.

And I did use canned diced tomato instead of fresh one to save on prep time and with the extra liquid from the can, I skip the stock and use a bit of water instead. I didn't add the 4 cups stock (in my case water) since I wanted something thicker but will add stock/water to the leftovers for next day lunch.

 Tip : 
I would suggest using leftover rice (cook extra the day before) or start by cooking the rice before starting with anything else.

Here's a special video about U.S.A. Rice featuring Canada's culinary expert, Rose Reisman giving us tips on cooking rice
 ***U.S.A. Rice provided me with recipes and gift card for the purchase of the ingredients needed***
*** All opinions are my own ***

 Follow the hastag #TheRiceWay for other bloggers' recipe challenge.

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