Transformative Leftovers Award: Hash Brown Rice

Though we still had a good bit of food in the house (and, more surprisingly, over $10 left in our weekly budget), we ended up having Chinese take-out with a friend last night. The thing about Chinese take-out is that one is always left over with a bunch of leftover cooked rice that quickly turns into an weapons-grade starch brick if left in the cardboard foldy-box. You can always re-cook it with a little bit of water and get edible rice out of it again, but a big helping of leftover rice is often not the most appetizing dinner option, especially the night after gorging on sesame tofu and eggplant in garlic sauce.

In the past, I’ve tried to re-cook the rice in soy milk with cinnamon, cardamom and some kind of sweetener to make an impromptu Indian-style rice pudding. This works okay for a frugal dessert, especially if you’ve had some drinks with dinner, but I probably wouldn’t serve it to guests.

A much better option, as Tina discovered this morning, is Gourmet magazine’s recipe for Hash Brown Rice as a breakfast/brunch potato replacement. Our recipe is somewhat different, since Gourmet expects that you will be cooking fresh rice for this recipe, and also based on the ingredients we had in the house at the time – an onion is usually key for hash browns, but we were out.

Hash Brown Rice (from leftover Chinese)

1 large takeout box of cooked brown rice.
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper

To Do:
1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Saute the rosemary, red pepper, and garlic over medium-high heat.
2. Add rice and leave to cook for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, turn on broiler.
3. Stir the rice thoroughly, flatten out on top, and stick in under the broiler until top is browned.