Last week, Tina mentioned that her sister had made a rice bake for a family party, and I immediately started researching rice bake recipes. I have had a ginormous box of brown rice in my pantry for a while now, and, in an effort to save for Italy, I wanted to make use of it versus buying more food and thus spending more money. After some research, I found this recipe for an Easy Rice Bake by The Neelys. However, I didn't have onion or spinach to make their recipe, and I didn't want to make 4 cups of rice since it was only me eating the dish. As a result, I ended up making Cheesy Black Bean and Rice Bake.
Cheesy Black Bean and Rice Bake
Yields: 4-5 servings
-1 tbsp. butter
-3 cups cooked brown rice
-3/4 can black beans
-2 chili peppers, seeded and minced
-1 and 3/4 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, plus extra for top
-3/4 cup milk
-Salt and black pepper to taste
-Squirt of fresh lime juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350* degrees. Butter a medium-sized casserole dish. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and egg. Add the cheese, rice, black beans, chili peppers, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, and add a generous squirt of fresh lime juice.
Pour rice mixture into buttered casserole dish and top with extra shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.
The end result was a cheesy, not-too-spicy dish chocked full of texture, flavor, and...well, cheese. Next time, I will probably add some cayenne pepper or leave the seeds in one of the chili peppers for some extra heat, though - it was a little too mild for my liking.
What recipe have you recently modified to make it your own?
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