Mediterranean Style Dice Rice Bake

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Total Time
2hrs 15mins
Prep
45 mins
Cook
1 hr 30 mins

I started making rice casseroles to bring to potluck lunches at my theater company because I discovered that they were cheaper than pasta (at least where I live). This recipe came to my mind when I had lunch at a Macau restaurant that served Portuguese baked rice. In the coming few weeks I began to dream about this brand new colourful, juicy rice casserole... so I did some research, hit the supermarket, and got busy.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Make layers of the casserole in this order: 1) white sauce, 2) tomato sauce, 3) dice rice.
  2. White sauce: melt butter in small saucepan. Add flour, chicken powder, salt, and pepper. Gently stir in cooking cream and grated cheese till melted. Stir over medium heat until the desired consistency. Add milk by the tablespoons if the sauce is too thick or salty.
  3. Tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, sautee onion, garlic, oregano, basil, clove, and bay leaves till fragrant.
  4. Tomato sauce: Add baby carrots and diced tomatoes. Sautee until the tomatoes become tender and juicy.
  5. Tomato sauce: Add canned tomatoes and stir. Pinch in pepper, salt, and sugar to taste. Lower heat and leave to simmer.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F or 180°C
  7. Dice rice: Heat olive oil in wok. Over medium heat, sautee onion, garlic, oregano, basil, and chicken powder till fragrant.
  8. Dice rice: Add chicken and sautee until it is cooked.
  9. Dice rice: briefly stir in mushrooms, capsicum, zucchini, and eggplant just to get them evenly mixed. Remove from the stove.
  10. Dice rice: in a large bowl, combine the (semi-) sauteed ingredients with the rice. Transfer to a rectangular casserole and even out the distribution.
  11. Finally: Layer the diced rice with white sauce, then with tomato sauce, and finally with grated cheese. Throw in the oven until the cheese is melted.
  12. Garnish the finished product with fresh chopped parsley. The casserole is ready to be served!
  13. Serving suggestions: Serve this as the main course after an appetizer of strawberry spinach salad and desert of peach melba. Serve with your choice of white or rose wine.