I love seafood. I mean LOVE seafood. However living this far inland, getting fresh seafood can be a challenge. I do live not terribly far from the self-proclaimed Trout Capital of the USA (Cotter, Arkansas.) I can’t seem to bring myself to drive to Cotter, sit either in a boat or on the banks of the river with a fishing pole in hand, waiting seemingly endless hours for the fish to fall prey to whatever sort of bait I’ve offered up to them. The mere idea nearly puts me to zzzzzzzzzzz. Oh I’m sorry, I must have dozed off.
Anyway, I wanted a good side dish for some baked trout, and my go-to with fish is rice. However plain rice after a while can get boring. So I opted for a dish that is a rice and veggie blend, to give it a bit of variety. This is a dish perfectly sized to fit two hearty appetites for a meal or two plus enough for a bit of leftovers for lunch the next day.
I started with a basic recipe from Kraft, and of course couldn’t leave it as- is. It’s first designed as usual to feed a family of sixteen kids and three cats. (Maybe not that many.) Also it contains only one veggie – corn. And I had some sour cream I wanted to use the last of before it disappeared into the back of the fridge to be discovered later as a flourishing science experiment. So with a few adjustments to make better use of what I had languishing in the fridge & give it a boost of color, you have my version of the recipe. It would be easy to swap out some or all of the corn and/or carrots for other vegetables you prefer, such as peas or diced peppers. Just make sure it will cook sufficiently within about 20 to 25 minutes.
On to the recipe…
Rice & Veggie Casserole
Two or three servings
2 tbsp sour cream
1 egg white
1 cup cooked white rice
3 oz frozen carrots, thawed and diced
Salt & Pepper to tasteDirections
Heat oven to 375°F.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, & egg white until combined and well blended. Stir in rice, corn, carrots, about half the shredded cheese, and thyme. Add salt & pepper to taste (or none at all, if you prefer.)
Pour into a lightly greased 1qt baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted.
Adapted pretty substantially from Kraft Cheesy Rice & Corn Casserole.
This recipe reminds me to share a good tip about cooking for two. Those smaller sized casserole dishes are ideal for recipes like this one. I use an 8×8 glass brownie pan frequently. Look for dishes that are about 6″ diameter and 1 1/2″ to 2″ deep, they are great for smaller portions. A good source for these size dishes is local pottery makers or smaller manufacturers. They make more of the unique size that goes well with small side-dishes. One of my favorites I used for this dish and it fits perfectly. When shopping for dishes suitable for smaller portions, remember that casseroles need a little extra room on the sides as they may bubble up around the edges. That slightly deeper dish will save you hours in oven-cleaning time!