Do you have those days when you open your fridge and look inside hoping to find some inspiration for something to cook? I do! Some days I open my fridge and its filled with items that make it easy to know what to rustle up. Other days, I see an ensemble of various left overs and cannot for the life of me think what to make with it. I usually find that I’ve got some left over rice and an assortment of the odd lump of cheese, a few sprigs of greens, a single spring onion looking a bit sorry for itself, half a red pepper, a lowly egg and other similar items that really need to be used up sooner rather than later. On one particular occasion I struck gold while staring blankly into afore mentioned fridge, which led to the rise of the ‘Baked Rice Cakes’!!
Serves – 4 to 5
Preparation Time – 25 minutes
Cooking Time – 15 – 20 minutes
400-450g cooked rice (I used boiled red rice but any rice is fine)
1 small onion finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves finely crushed
1-2 large winter greens, washed, de-stemmed and finely chopped
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
1 small can of sweetcorn (140g) blitzed in the food processor to a creamier texture (not pureed though)
75g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium egg
2-3 bacon rashers (pre grilled)
1tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower or coconut oil)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Time to get Cooking -
If you haven’t got any left over rice in the fridge, boil up your rice now according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, strain off any excess water and leave to the side.
Grill your bacon rashers (you can fry them if you prefer) and chop into small pieces (I made mine about the size of half a peanut) and leave to the side.
Add the oil in a frying pan, fry up your onion, garlic, mustard seeds and red pepper, drain off the excess oil and transfer it all into a deep mixing bowl. Once cool enough to the touch, add in the rice, cumin powder, mushy sweetcorn, chopped up winter greens and stir through. Then add your grated cheese and stir through ensuring all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the mix.
Crack raw egg into a small bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and beat well. Add this to the rice mix bit by bit. You want the egg to act as a binding agent to ensure that the rice sticks to itself and that the mix holds its shape when formed into a ball. Once you reach that consistency stop adding any more egg.
Grease your tart tray with butter and form your rice cakes. Use your tart tray as a guide for size. Ive done these in both a jam tart tray (for smaller snack bakes) and a muffin tray (for a meal!)
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes on Gas Mark 4/180°C until they turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven, plate up and enjoy!
Optional but Super Tasty - Instead of winter greens, you can use kale, spinach leaves or a bunch of chives. You can leave the bacon out for a vegetarian baked rice cake.
Top Tips – Slightly over cooking the rice will result in a stodgier consistency which makes the rice cakes hold their round shape a little better. Ensure that you liberally grease the tart tray with butter as this will help prevent the rice from drying out on the edges and from sticking to the tray. You can line the tray with grease proof paper if you prefer not to use butter.