Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Snack time! (Puffed Rice)

This recipe came from Karen Solomon's fantastic book, "Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It." I'm a trifle obsessed with it right now; there are some truly amazing recipes in there. Plus so many "holy crap that's so easy, why am I not doing that every day??" recipes, which are my favourite kind. This one is great, it uses up leftover rice and is insanely delicious.

I think she sums it up really well in the intro to the recipe for corn flakes (the page before the puffed rice): "There come moments in kitchen projectry when one has to ask oneself, "Is this insane? Have I crossed the line from food-craftiness into utter madness, making my own cornflakes?" Search inside your gut and you will find the answer to that question yourself."

Yes, I am mad. But it's a pretty awesome madness, and my family seems to enjoy reaping the benefits.

Puffed rice

Cooked rice (long grain is better, but I've used short as well)

Once you've eaten whatever meal the rice was for, spread the leftover rice on a baking sheet. You can either leave it out for as long as it takes to dry completely, or put it in the oven at 180 with the door cracked. Stir it occasionally, breaking up clumps, until it is totally dry.

Line a baking sheet with paper towel and prepare your seasonings. We prefer cinnamon and sugar. 

Looks like it's uncooked again!

Heat a couple of inches of oil in a round-bottomed skillet (a wok is perfect) until smoking hot. Pour the rice in in no more than 1/2 batches and stir. Use a skimmer to scoop them out as they start to get brown, onto the paper towels to drain. 

Season. Eat!

A note on oil: I usually use peanut oil for these. It's a nice, light oil that leaves the rice fluffy. Tonight I discovered to my chagrin that I was out of peanut and I had to substitute canola. Though still good, I find them to be not AS good. The canola oil seems to have made the rice much crisper; almost to the point of painfully so. Also, I don't like the way it makes my house smell and the smoke from canola oil really bugs my eyes. I conclusion, not using that again. Definitely going back to peanut.