A fresh take on a staple side dish, this summer side dish recipe: Dressed Up Rice is my idea of c’est si bon. Summer television choices tend to be plain as white rice, presenting the “what do you want to watch? I don’t know, what do you want to watch?” game we all love to hate. A couple of rounds of this the other night resulted in Dave the Builder surrendering the remote and leaving the evening’s viewing line-up in my hands. I began the menu scroll through the channels thinking my search would find us once again deep in The Big Bang Theory territory. Much to my surprise on the real estate listing channel I saw the listing for one of my favorite cooking shows, The Cooking Lady.
Ann Hollowell is The Cooking Lady. Her style of and flavor for cooking, combined with easy recipes with an elegant twist and (this one may sound silly) kitchen design and decor make this my idea of must cook, must bake, must see TV. I’m a big fan of the show and the recipes, and the Places In The Home gang deliciously benefits from it. Inspiration is everywhere, and this week I found it on the “Spring Turkey”episode of The Cooking Lady with the recipe for Dressed Up Rice. In the style of good cooks and great dishes, I too like to add a little lagniappe to staple side dishes, and Dressed Up Rice brings it to the table. My interpretation of this summer side dish recipe: Dressed Up Rice is strictly for the sake of what’s in the cupboard convenience and this crowd believes everything is better with bacon on it.
Dressed Up Rice
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons butter
2 4 ounce cans mushrooms, drained
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fine black pepper
12 ounce bag frozen green peas
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Combine 4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups rice and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and allow water to cook almost out. Cover pan with lid and remove from burner. Allow rice to sit covered for 20-25 minutes to continue cooking process.
Fry the bacon, allowing to cool before crumbling into desired size pieces. Melt butter over medium heat and add mushrooms and green onions. Cook in butter until green onion begin to soften.
Add frozen green peas, crumbled bacon, salt and pepper. Gently stir to incorporate flavors together.
Using a soft spatula, spoon cooked rice into skillet, again gently incorporating all ingredients together. Transfer mixture to serving dish and place in 250°F oven to keep warm until serving time.