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I found this recipe in Sunset magazine many years ago. They called it Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf. Since it has the same main ingredients as Rice-A-Roni, I have always called it Homemade Rice-A-Roni.
Vermicelli is not always easy to find at the grocery store so angel air pasta that has been broken up may be used in its place.
Since my hubby isn’t particularly fond of regular steamed rice, I use this recipe a lot, changing the seasonings to go with whatever main dish I am serving with it.
If I want Italian flavor I use Italian seasoning, Greek flavor I use Greek Seasoning. For Mexican I use taco seasoning or cumin and chili powder and add tomato bouillon. The tomato bouillon is a product that can be found in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. For Asian flavor I sauté the rice and vermicelli in sesame oil and add soy sauce and a bit of ginger or Chinese 5-spice.
This is a good recipe to have in your recipe arsenal as a change from potatoes. Since it is homemade it has much less sodium and chemicals than the commercial product and is significantly less expensive.
To save time, the rice and vermicelli can be combined and put into zip-top bags and stored in the cupboard.
Adapted from Sunset magazine
3 T. butter, margarine, vegetable oil or 2 T. vegetable oil and 1 T. sesame oil.
1 c. regular long grain rice (I usually use Calrose which is an oriental rice)
1/2 c. vermicelli or angel hair pasta broken into about 1-inch pieces
2 12 c. water
1 t. thyme leaves or seasoning of choice
2 T. fresh parsley ( may also use dried or omit)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1 T. granulated beef, chicken, tomato, or vegetable bouillon (I like to use Better than Bouillon Organic Paste)
Melt butter or margarine over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add rice and vermicelli, stir well and cook until it is lightly toasted, stirring often. Add water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer over medium heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, abut 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
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