Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes

Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes

Don't you just love happy food accidents, successfully thrown together bits of this and that and necessity producing tasty inventions? On the Friday before Labor Day I was still unpacking from our Maine vacation, getting laundry done so we could go away for the long weekend and baking Brian's birthday cake. He was going to be working late and we needed to hit the road so I told him I'd make him dinner and bring it with us. I knew I had some leftover ground beef and several ideas for quick tasty dinners.

Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes
Unfortunately, when I unwrapped the beef, it looked and smelled a bit off. Into the garbage it went and now it was too late and I was too wrapped up in things to go get anything else. There wasn't much in the fridge considering all our comings and goings lately but I did find a nice looking zucchini. Rice is a pantry staple in our house (jasmine is my favorite) and I usually have onions and garlic in a basket.

Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes
So I sauteed the aromatics with the zucchini, added rice and cooked it until it was tender. It wasn't risotto since I hadn't used short grain rice but I did toss in some Parmesan cheese. The flavor was great but the texture was a little wet so I decided to pour the whole thing into two mini spring-form pans, top each with a bit more Parmesan and bake them in the oven. I wasn't sure how long to cook them but I knew I had about 30 minutes before Brian would be pulling up with the car and we'd be off. So, after 30 minutes I took them out of the oven, wrapped them in foil and we hit the road.

When we got to our house out east I unwrapped and un-molded the cakes and we sat down to have a taste. Wow! Flavorful, slightly crispy and delicious. So good in fact that when we got back after the long weekend, I made them again...and again. Enjoy!

Ingredients
3/4 Cup rice (your choice)
1 Onion, peeled and diced
1 Clove, garlic, peeled and minced
1 Zucchini, peeled and diced
2 Cups water or chicken stock
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes
In a pot, saute the onion and garlic on low heat until translucent. Add the zucchini and continue cooking for a few minutes on medium heat until the zucchini softens. Stir in the rice until all the grains are coated and raise the heat to high. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Season to taste and stir in all but two tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.

Spray two mini spring-form pans with non-stick cooking spray and add half the rice mixture to each one. Top each with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Allow the pans to cool slightly, run a knife along the edges and carefully un-mold the rice cakes. Makes two servings.

27 comments:

  1. This is just exquisite! I love happy cooking accidents. I can't wait to try this recipe, Anita!

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  2. I love concoctions, and this one looks like one tasty accident. Yum!

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  3. Oh I do, I do love all these creative accidents in the kitchen, this is a great family meal!

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  4. Oh, looks delicious. Need to give this one a try soon.

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  5. That is AMAZING how you were able to just throw that whole thing together, and it turned out amazing! Love happy accidents :)

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  6. Seriously salivating.. this could be my new favorite recipe for sure!

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  7. Lovely and filling creation! I love the creative medium and that delectable texture! Brava!

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  8. this is such a great idea Anita! definitely will be trying this!

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  9. What an easy one tin meal! Not a lot of clean-up, I love it!

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  10. I also love happy food accidents! They are the best :)

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  11. Sometimes the creative cooking times and happy accidents make the best recipes and this sure does look like one of them.

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  12. Dear Anita,

    You just became my bestest friend.

    Love,

    Jen

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  13. Anita, I'm totally trying this. This will be something I know my husband will eat!! I'm so glad you came up with this recipe!!!

    Christy

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  14. Where was this recipe when my vegetarian daughters were here visiting! It would have been perfect and so tasty. I will have to give this a try so I can make it again when they come home.

    And thanks for the info about Blogger comments. I see your Reply below each comment and wonder why mine didn't have that when I joined Blogger. User error, no doubt. :)

    Stacy

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    1. It's pretty tasty even for us non-vegetarians. Just serve it alongside some meat! :)

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    2. Whoa! Fancy! I swear all this was not an option when I started. But most likely I just didn't know what I was doing. It took me a while to research and change to Disqus when, all the time, I had the power. Piff diddle. (Choosing to keep your blog comments G-rated.)

      And we are trying to eat less meat too so I plan to make it for just the two of us too! Then again when the girls come home. I think with a side salad it will be a perfect meal. Thank you!

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  15. Where were you when I was vegetarian!!! Everything I ate was so BORING. This looks fantastic!

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  16. This looks so good! We always have zuchinni in the house and this would be a great meal. I will pass this on to my daughter who is a veg head. By the way, where did you get those baby spring form pans? Love them and must have some!

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I picked up the mini spring-forms (they're half size of a regular 9" one) at Sur La Table. But I've subsequently seen them at one of the big box stores (either Target or Walmart).

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  17. These look delicious and i have all the ingredients in my kitchen! :-)

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  18. Love this recipe idea! I also love the photos! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

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  19. This looks wonderful. And it's gluten free without you even trying.

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  20. I made this recipe with some slight changes ~ I also used eggplants and will be featuring it on this week' Foodie Friends Friday and it was delicious... I did make it vegan as we are having a vegan weekend with this week's Foodie Friends Friday. I will be posting my recipe either tomorrow or Thursday morning. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I have to go and buy some mini springform pans so that they look nicer :).
    http://marlys-thisandthat.blogspot.com

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  21. Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

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  22. I had some leftover rice and wanted to see about making some sort of baked rice cake when I stumbled on your recipe. I added some bell pepper to the ingredients as well as egg to make it stick together (since I was using leftover rice). I put the mixture in a muffin tin and they came out pretty great! Thank you for the inspiration!

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  23. This sounds really good, but, I don't have any sort of spring-form pan.

    What I do have is a ceramic casserole pan, a glass casserole pan, muffin tins, and heart shaped ceramic dishes to make mini cakes out of (probably about 3-1/2" tall and the same wide).

    Can you give me suggestions as to what time and temperature variations would need to occur for any of these pans that I do have?

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    1. Hi Arletta,

      It sounds like either the muffin tins or the heart shaped pans would work. As for time and temperature, I would keep them the same as in the recipe but keep an eye on it. Because the dish is basically already cooked before it goes into the oven, you're just looking for browning. Just make sure it doesn't get too brown and you should be fine. Let me know how you liked the dish.

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