A tasty recipe from the vegetarian husband, which evolved from yet another simple experiment in the kitchen:
‘These rice cakes are very filling, but fantastic when you are starving hungry. They take just under 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The great thing about this recipe is that you simply use what’s in the kitchen. If you have to go out to buy the ingredients, then you’ve missed the point!
To make this, you need some leftover rice. Any kind of rice will do (we’ve used risotto and our usual mixture of brown basmati, red carmargue & wild rice), but leftover is always best, as you need the stickiness of slightly thickened rice to help bind the cakes when frying them. The cakes can be skewed towards Mediterranean or Asian, depending on what’s in your fridge that needs using up.
You can use anything you have, as long as they do not need a lot of cooking through. Any kind of pre-cooked leftovers such as spring greens, cabbage or peas etc can also be added.
It doesn’t matter how much rice you have, as you can add other ingredients to bulk it out as necessary. In our fridge, I found a medium-sized courgette, some portabella mushrooms, a couple of spring onions and some havarti cheese.
What to do next:
- Prepare your ingredients and add to large bowl, along with one chopped clove of garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil, plenty of sea salt and pepper (use less salt if the rice is already salted), some dried chilli flakes or one fresh chilli and three tablespoons of semolina flour. Any kind of flour will do – it just serves to thicken the mixture slightly.
- Cut up cheese into tiny pieces and mix in. Any kind of cheese can be used (we’ve also used Fontina and Gruyère) – again it’s about using leftovers. If you want to use an egg to bind the mixture together, you can, but this isn’t really necessary. Add the rice and mix together
- Heat up a heavy bottomed pan or skillet with a small amount of vegetable or rapeseed oil. I have a cheap American cast iron traditional frying pan that improves with age and is perfect for this kind of cooking
- Sprinkle a little flour on a separate plate or work surface. Take a dollop of the mixture (they will cook through more quickly if they are smaller) and place it on the flour. Pat down to about half an inch thick with a spatula, then dust with flour (which when fried, gives the cakes a lovely crunchy coating)
- Carefully lift a cake, place into the pan and press down with the spatula. Repeat this with more dollops until you have no more space left in your frying pan or skillet (we usually do four at a time)
- Turn heat down to medium and let cakes cook for at least 5-7 minutes, before turning them over carefully with the spatula and repeating the process. As long as you’ve left the cakes to cook for long enough, they should remain in one piece as you flip them over. Once the second side has cooked for the same length of time, they are ready to be served
You can eat these rice cakes as a snack with a cold beer or as part of a meal with any kind of seasonal salad. We’ve even had them for breakfast!’.
If you like risotto, then you might like How To Make Mushroom Risotto
All recipes on Lay The Table, categorised by cuisine, are archived here.
@ Lay The Table