I think I must have gotten this idea from N.Y.D.C in SG. Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, I did not have many chances to try other cuisines. Hence on my first visit to NYDC, I was shocked to see that someone would actually place rice with cheese! If you are wondering this must have happened years and years ago…. well, I believe the first time I stepped into NYDC was only 3-4 years ago? I can accept pasta with cheese but rice with cheese sounded so foreign to me at that point of time. So silly of me!
I try to make it a point to cook or bake something new every week at home. Besides planning and dreaming about our wedding (as a little girl, I have never given too much thought about my wedding so I’m compensating), cooking and baking something new gets my creative cell membranes going. Perhaps if I’m back to seeing clients, I will be ok but since I have a few more months to finish writing “the book”, I’m going to need all the creative cells all I can to keep my spirits up.
So I pucked up the courage to try this dish at home! To be very honest, I can’t remembered how the one in NYDC tastes like anymore.. so I can’t make a comparison. It’s very filling and I can’t eat too much of it. Possibly because of the cheese AND rice combi. However, I added tomatoes and that provided a tangy flavour, kinda like baked pasta with rice…
Cheesy Baked Rice (if u r really hungry, this probably will serve 2-3, if not, this will serve 4-5 easily).
1 can of diced tomatoes
3-4 diced roma tomatoes
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 sliced red capsicum
2 cups of stock
2 cups of basmatic rice
shredded bbq chicken meat (about 2 cups)
4 cups of shredded chedder cheese
cracked pepper and sea salt
In a large deep pan, heat oil up. Add desired amount of minced garlic. Once fragrant, add the rice in. Crack open the can of diced tomatoes and tip it into the pan. Stir and simmer. Toss chopped roma tomatoes, capsicum and mushrooms in. Add approximately 1 cup of stock. Cover and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
Stir. Add more stock till the rice is almost cooked. That will take about 15-20 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add more stock or water. Toss in bbq chicken meat and continue stirring for another 5 minutes. Season.
Transfer the mixture to a heat proof bowl (I used pyrex). Sprinkle cheese liberally on the top. Put it under the grill for 5+ minutes.
Ladle and serve.
*I made this last week again, substituting bbq chicken meat with chopped chicken sausages. If anyone is keen to experiment, you can omit the tomatoes and add cream for a richer touch. I’m not sure if I’m game to try that version though.. ;p