fighting fire with fire

We eat steamed rice a few times a week and sometimes have a lot of leftovers.  I hate to waste, but reheated rice just doesn’t do it for me.  I’ve had to come up with a few different ways to use the leftovers so that we’re not throwing them away when we’ve just had enough.  I now toss them into hamburgers, turkey burgers, and bean burgers, as well as meatloaf or turkey loaf and the rice acts similar to breadcrumbs as a binding agent, but also actually makes them more moist.

With a mind to how I’m going to use any leftover rice, halfway through cooking I’ll throw in two big handfuls of spinach (frozen or fresh).  When it’s done cooking, I’ll throw in the juice of one lime, two tablespoons of chopped cilantro, and some salt and pepper.  Green rice, as I call it, is great tossed into burgers or meatloaves.

uncooked carrot rice

cooked carrot rice

My other new favorite veggie rice is carrot rice.  I’ll put the rice, water, and rice vinegar in the steamer and add a cup of grated carrots before I press start.  Then, when it’s done, I’ll add salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.  YUM!  In addition to the meat recipes, I’ve scrounged up a couple of recipes for rice pancakes and have been playing around with them.  I’ve come up with a pretty good adaptation that’s a favorite around our house.

red chile pepper powder

So, when wonderful Christine from NM sent me a beautiful care package of red chile powder and green chile beef jerky—YUMMY!—I was already to go with Corn Cakes with Carrot Rice and Mango Salsa.

Corn Cakes with Carrot Rice

½ cup cooked white rice or carrot rice.  I really like a long grain rice such as basmati for this recipe, as it holds its texture throughout the steaming and cooking.  You can use short grain rice, but it will lose the texture of rice and become something more cake-y.

½ cup flour

½ cup fine ground cornmeal

1 tsp baking soda

a dash of salt and pepper

a dash of nutmeg

½ tsp red chile powder

1 tbl chopped onion or scallions

1 egg

½ to 1 cup of skim milk

(optional) ½ cup cooked corn

Olive oil for the griddle or pan

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Add the egg and ½ cup of the milk.  Stir and keep adding milk until the batter is the consistency that you like your pancakes at.  Fry in a hot griddle until golden brown on both sides.  Makes approximately ten cakes.  Serve with Ricia’s Mango Salsa.

Mango Salsa

1 large mango—sorry, I just don’t have patience for the little ones.

2 tbl finely chopped pepper

Juice of one lime

Generous sprinkle of salt

(optional) 1-3 tbls chopped cilantro, according to taste.

This is a sweet salsa that’s pretty refreshing with a spicy dish.  You can certainly add some heat to it if you’re serving it with a milder main dish, though.  It’s also great with chopped pineapple added in and served on the side of chicken, salmon, or swordfish.

I think that next time, I might make a pot of black beans to go with all this, and add a little dollop of low fat sour cream to the plate, but other than that, these were absolute heaven!

Thank you very much, Christine, and look for your package in the mail.  I decided to fight fire with fire and sent you Puerto Rican jalapeño hot sauce—enjoy!

BTW: I think I’ll share the green chile jerky with friends!

fight fire

with fire


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