Hye Thyme Cafe: Rice Bites (Playing with Leftovers)

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rice Bites (Playing with Leftovers)

We had decided earlier in the day to order up a Pay-Per-View movie tonight, so we were talking about potential munchies for the occasion. Knowing I had made a batch of Tzatziki with homemade yogurt the other day, I suggested cutting up some veggies and having that during the movie. That expanded from having some munchies to holding off on dinner and having a full-blown antipasto-type feast during the movie. That always works for me!!

So, when I went to dig in the fridge for any partially used veggies before cutting into new ones, I realized that we still had some of the Cilantro Lime Confetti Rice from dinner the other night. Knowing it would end up going to waste if I didn't do something with it, my mind drifted to Arancini (deep-fried rice balls made with risotto). Because the veggies, olives, dip, etc. are all good for you, and I didn't want to completely counteract that by throwing something deep-fried into the mix, I decided to attempt a baked version.

I found a recipe online that called for using 2c risotto with 2 eggs, rolling it into balls with a piece of mozzarella in the middle, then rolling it in crumbs, drizzling with olive oil and baking at 425 for 15".  

I had more than 2c of rice, so I cracked in 3 eggs and mixed everything together. It was waaaay too soupy, so I shook in a bunch of grated parmesan, but that still didn't do it. Rather than throwing in the towel, I was going to press it into a small Pyrex baking dish, bake that and cut it into squares, but my sister caught me in time and suggested mini muffin tins.  Good call!!

Mix in 1 egg for each up of rice

 Spray mini-muffin tin with PAM
and sprinkle with seasoned breadcrumbs

Fill half way with rice mixture and
top with a piece of mozzarella (I cut up string cheese)

Top with more rice
and sprinkle with bread crumbs

Drizzle top with olive oil or spray with PAM
Bake at 350 for 30" until golden
I turned on the broiler for the last few seconds

The verdict? We liked the texture, etc. but decided they were a little on the blah side. I'll definitely try these gain, but will mix more herbs, etc. into the rice first.

By the way, the movie we watched was The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. I thought it was going to be a lot more dark than it was. Turned out to be kind of a light cops and robbers type movie. I'll give it a thumbs up - some chuckles, pretty people to look at, and a twist.  :)


  1. what a fun way to eat leftover rice. worth trying it again. I vote for sauteed onions and garlic to amp up the flavor (but that's cuz I put garlic and onions in everything LOL)

  2. Genius to the idea of what to do with the leftover rice and to not frying. Genius to your sister also for the muffin tin idea. You two work well together in the kitchen.

  3. Thanks ladies. There's definitely something to be said for leftovers - they provide inspiration for other ideas. :)


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