Earlier in the year, we discovered Rice-a-Roni, one of the products in my hamper of American products. It's a flavoured blend of rice and vermicelli and the Madhouse kids absolutely loved it. One of my American online friends told me that's it's easy enough to make yourself.
Just take equal measures of rice and vermicelli - or you can break regular spaghetti into tiny pieces - and brown them for a couple of minutes in some melted butter. I planned on breaking up spaghetti then saw some tiny pasta letters in Lidl so I thought I'd give them a go as it would be quicker.
Once they start going brown, add plenty of chicken stock (or any other stock you may wish to use) and bring to the boil.
Add whatever seasoning you want - something with dehydrated vegetables in it like instant soup would be good but I didn't have any of that. I did find a seasoning sachet that went with some Spicy Singapore Stir Fry Noodles that I didn't use so I put that in.
After about 8 minutes, the water had been absorbed so I put on a lid and left it to finish cooking in its own steam.
The Madhouse kids weren't totally bowled over - they said it was nice but not as nice as the packet version - but I think it depends entirely on the seasoning you use. They weren't totally convinced by the one I used - "it tastes like something from the Chinese restaurant" - but I'm not sure how I'd manage to recreate the broccoli au gratin flavour that they loved last time. They did love picking letters out as they ate though so I'd say it's a work in progress ! I'll try adding other spices and see if I can find some dried onion flakes to add even more flavour (or I could possibly just fry off a finely diced onion in the butter before throwing in the rice and vermicelli).
Let me know if you have any better ideas !
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