Friday, March 26, 2010

Budget-friendly, but...

I really had no intention of doing any Edmonds cooking last night. But I still had to eat, and, having no other inspiration for a meal, I turned once again to my Edmonds Book. I was quite interested in the tomato rice casserole (p107). Pasta bakes are a familiar idea, but you don't usually think of baking rice in the oven. Or I don't, anyway. Of course, my main reason for choosing this recipe was simply that I had all the ingredients in the cupboard.

All you do is throw rice, chopped onion, garlic, a can of tomatoes and some tomato paste in a casserole dish with some seasoning, mix it all up, add a few cubes of butter and bake it in the oven for 40 minutes. Very cheap and very easy.

It's a bit hard to know if this is supposed to be a main or a side dish. There's no protein in the recipe, but I can't think what you would serve it up with. Chicken maybe? I figured if the basic recipe turned out ok, I could add some meat next time.

After 40 minutes, the rice wasn't cooked yet. I suspect basmati wasn't the best rice to use, but it was the only long grain I had. I added a bit of water to stop it drying out, and put it back in for another 10 minutes.

To be honest, it's not a great recipe. The predominant flavour is very very strong tomato - 135g of tomato paste is a little excessive in a dish this size. Once again, the onions weren't completely cooked - I think I need to start chopping my onions up finer so they cook properly in these recipes. The seasoning of salt, sugar and curry powder just isn't stong enough to make a dent in the overpowering tomato/uncooked onion flavour. It's really a bit like eating tomato paste mixed with rice and raw onion.

I think if I made this again - which, let's face it, is not likely - I'd use less tomato paste,or even dispense with it altogether in favour of a bit more liquid - stock probably. I'd also incorporate meat, some more vege, and some mixed herbs or something instead of the curry powder. I'm not convinced that the butter is necessary either - it smelt lovely in the cooking, but added nothing to the flavour as far as I could tell.

In short: Unless you're keen to get creative as per my suggestions above, don't bother with this one.


  1. I often zap onion in the microwave before using Robs esp in dishes which don't have a lot of liquid.Basmati should be ok it doesn't usually take long to cook once again it may depend on amount of liquid.

  2. Not exactly a recipe I'll be trying :)
    You got me inspired with the Ginger Crunch though, so will head to the supermarket tomorrow in search of ground ginger... fingers crossed!!

  3. Anonymous: Was that you, Mum?

    Bryn: No, I didn't think you'd be keen on this one - even if it was really nice from a non-tomato hater's perspective. Good luck with the ginger - hope you find some!


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