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Red Rice
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12 ounces bulk Italian sausage
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup each chopped green, yellow and sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 strips of cooked and crumbled pancetta or bacon, optional
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

In skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink, drain. Transfer to ungreased ovenproof casserole and stir in rice, water, onion, peppers, olive oil, butter, seasonings and bacon, if desired. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, juice and all, and bake 15 minutes longer.

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Mexican Rice
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2 cups chicken stock
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup long grain white rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place stock, tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, and onion in a blender and puree until smooth; set tomato mixture aside.

Heat oil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat; add remaining garlic and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until rice is tender and has absorbed all liquid, 25–30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.

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Ham, Cheese, and Grits Breakfast Pie
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1 2/3 cups water
1 cup whipping cream
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
8 large eggs, divided
1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup milk

Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cheese and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Lightly beat 2 eggs, and stir into grits mixture; pour into a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Sauté ham and onions in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until onion is tender. Layer ham mixture evenly over grits crust. Whisk together milk and remaining 6 eggs; pour over ham mixture. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup cheese evenly over egg mixture.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, and cut into wedges. Garnish with finely chopped green onion tops and/or parsley, if desired.

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Korean Rice Bowl

1 1/2 cups rice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste (I use Sriracha), or to taste
1 zucchini or yellow squash, cut into matchsticks
1/4 pound shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 pound ground beef
4 large eggs, fried (optional)

Prepare rice as directed on package. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, sesame oil and Sriracha. Set aside.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add vegetables and 3 tablespoons water. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, or until just softened. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.

Crumble beef into same skillet. Cook 5 minutes, breaking apart with a spoon. Add sauce mixture and cook 2 minutes.

Place a mound of rice into 4 bowls. Top each with 1/2 cup meat mixture and 1/3 cup vegetables. Finish each with a fried egg, if using.

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Rice, Chili, and Sour Cream Casserole

12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
3 cups sour cream
2 cans diced green chilies
3 cups cooked rice
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Cut the Monterey Jack cheese into strips about 1/8" thick. Thoroughly mix sour cream and chilies. Butter a 1-1/2 quart casserole. Season rice with salt and pepper. Layer rice, sour cream mixture and cheese strips, in that order, until you finish with rice on the top. Bake in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes.

During the last few minutes of baking sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the rice and allow it to melt before removing casserole from oven.

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Okra Pilau

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 1/2 cups dry long grain rice 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
salt & pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

Sauté onion and okra in hot drippings over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until tender.

Prepare rice according to package directions, using chicken broth instead of water. Stir rice and crumbled bacon into okra mixture in skillet.

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Shrimp Risotto

5 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring broth and 1/4 cup wine to simmer in medium saucepan. Reduce heat; keep hot.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and crushed red pepper, then shrimp. Sauté until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic; sauté until onion is pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth mixture. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp and parsley into risotto. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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Cheesy Polenta

2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring milk, water, and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes, until creamy, lifting the lid and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pot from stove, stir in pepper and butter. Gradually stir in cheese. Serve.

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Risotto Milanese

7 cups chicken broth, canned or homemade
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 saffron threads
1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat the chicken broth but don’t let it come to a boil. Just let it simmer.

Heat the oil in a separate heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook slowly until translucent. Stir in the rice until the grains of rice are coated with the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes until the rice gives off a nutty smell.

Start by adding 1 cup of hot broth, stirring continuously. As the rice absorbs the broth, begin adding ˝ cup of broth at a time, stirring continuously until all the broth is used. (15-20 minutes)

Remove from heat, stir in the wine, saffron threads, butter and Parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

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Lemon Risotto

6 cups chicken broth, canned or homemade
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

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Low Country Chicken Pilau

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 chicken, cut up
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 ounces salt pork, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon Accent
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup tomatoes, peeled and chopped

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the chicken in two tablespoons of the oil. Remove chicken and set aside. Add half of the onions to the drippings, and sauté until tender. Place the chicken back into the pot, add one cup of the chicken broth and simmer in until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes, adding more broth as needed.

Remove chicken, pour off and reserve the pan juices. Allow chicken to cool, skin and debone. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the salt pork; sauté until brown. Add the remaining onion and celery and sauté until tender. Add the rice and sauté, until it looks opaque. Add the Accent, salt and pepper; pour the reserved pan juices back into the pot and add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, adding more chicken broth if needed. Add the chicken pieces to the rice; heat 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

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Creamy Polenta

4 cups water
Salt to taste
1 cup medium-grain yellow polenta (I use Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits Polenta)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream cheese

Heat water lightly seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated.

Lower the heat to a low simmer, add the butter and allow the polenta to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Finish by stirring in the cream cheese and salt to taste.

If preparing in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in the microwave, about 5 minutes on high, just before serving. Stir vigorously after reheating to fluff.

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My Dirty Rice

3/4 pound chicken gizzards
3 1/2 cups hot chicken or beef broth
1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup each chopped onions, celery, and green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chili flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 pound chicken livers, minced
2tablespoons butter, divided

Simmer the chicken gizzards in broth for 30 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and grind or chop fine. Sauté the pork and chopped gizzards over high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Lower heat, add vegetables and seasonings, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice and reserved broth, quickly bring to a boil, stir once, cover, and lower heat. Simmer 15 minutes.

Saute minced chicken livers in butter for 3 minutes. Toss with the rice, taste for seasoning, and adjust. Cover and put in a low 225° oven for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Serves 6 as a main dish.

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Baked Rice Pilaf

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and butter and cook onion, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add rice and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until some of the rice grains look translucent. Transfer everything to a 1-1/2 quart glass baking dish. Bring the stock and seasonings to a boil and pour over the rice. Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Fluff rice with fork and serve. Serves 4

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Baked Rice Pilaf With Parmesan Cheese

1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Accent
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Saute the garlic and rice in the butter until golden. Pour into a casserole dish, add broth, salt, and Accent. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until the liquid is absorbed). Add cheese and stir until cheese is mixed in and rice is fluffy.

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