The Covered Dish - Glorified Rice

August 18, 2023

A few weeks ago, I had a flashback from my old Elementary school in Monticello, Missouri. The school is no longer there, but my memories are abundant of the good ole’ days. I have thoughts of the old teeter totter and the monkey bars, and Mr. Gale, our janitor/maintenance man. This was back in the day when radiators ran on coal!! As you can imagine my memory was from the school kitchen. I had no idea what it was called, I just remembered it as the cold rice salad. Well folks that salad has a name, it’s called, ‘Glorified Rice’.

The salad was prominent in many Lutheran Churches and Scandinavian homes. The immigrants who settled in the upper Midwest brought their recipe with them. It was popular from the 1930’s – 1950’s. It was served in many Minnesota homes.
The salad is nice if you use a starchy rice because it makes the dish creamier. Last week I indicated I was going to share the new recipe, but I had some things to work out…. Well, the thing I had to work out was the rice. I used regular long grain that was rinsed before using. After cooling the rice and making the salad I said to myself? “This isn’t it; the rice tastes like little sticks in a creamy salad!”

So, the search began…. finally, I found a blog/chatter where people were discussing the salad. The thing they were searching for was how to make it creamy. One individual from up north went to her 80+ mother and asked her how they made it so creamy? Well, the answer is what I am sharing with you today.
The answer is: Cook your rice in milk or cream and to do so until almost all the liquid is absorbed. At that time, you allow it to cool and the starch content will help it to thicken. Once it’s cool you combine it together with remaining ingredients!
What type of rice you use is going to be a personal call. I’ve chosen Arborio, an Italian Rice, frequently used in Risotto (A wonderful dish!). Other good choices would be Jasmine or regular long grain. The Italian Arborio may contain more starch than regular long grain rice, but nutritionists say it’s still better for us than the long grain.
Arborio is easy to distinguish as it’s a short, fat, pearly white & oval shaped rice. It has less milling than other rice, more starch and when you cook it the rice is firmer, chewier and creamier. You also do not rinse this rice before using. The method for cooking arborio is also different from all other rice. You heat the liquid the rice is cooked in and gradually add it to the rice. Therefore; cooking arborio takes a little more time. You could also state that I have taken this recipe back to the ‘purist’ stage. This basically means you are making the recipe in the originally form without modern short-cuts.

In your cupboards or freezers rice will last several years. As my friend P.J. always said, just check for weevils!!! (She was a missionary kid raised in Malaysia, and you truly checked for bugs!) If the idea of having too much rice in the cupboard is a problem, see if a friend wants to split it with you. Below I have listed some pricing on 4-5 of my frequently used types. The pricing is from Walmart or Sam’s on most.

Long Grain 25 lbs. 12.98

Jasmine 25 lbs. 17.98 2lbs was $4.00

Basmati from India 20 lbs. 19.68

Arborio 5 lbs. $33.99 2lbs. $7.57

Amazo 2 lbs. $6.58

Droughts in Italy have also pushed the price of arborio significantly higher this past year. Most of our arborio comes from California or Texas. Typically, they say arborio is a little less than double the cost of other rice. Arborio is also named from the area in which it was raised in Italy.
Refrigerate the rice just as soon as it is cool. As there is a toxin in rice called Bacillus cereus which can make you very ill, if the rice is left out too long. Thus, the reason why most hospitals cook and then freeze rice before it’s served to patients. Many think they are getting sick from MSG when they eat Oriental food and often it’s not that at all!

I could talk about rice all day, how about we get to this new recipe.

Glorified Rice

4 1/2 cups milk,

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice, unwashed

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon clear vanilla

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, well drained, or use crushed

10-15 ounces Marchino cherries, cut into quarters, drain well

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

8 ounces commercial whipped cream or ‘fresh’

For fresh use 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Options: toasted pecans, coconut, and other fruits.

In one saucepan heat the milk, butter and salt. When heated thoroughly slowly pour small portions over the rice in a different pan & cook. You will stop cooking the rice when it is still creamy, but not runny. (Test to make sure it is done.) It is going to thicken as it cools. Stir the sugar and vanilla into the cooked rice. Time to sit and cool. Lastly; add fruits, marshmallows, and any additional ingredients with the whipped cream. Gently turn the whipped cream into the ingredients. Refrigerate.

I would say I divided my warmed milk into about 4 different additions. To save money use regular long grain rice, but cook it in the milk or cream!