Originally a farm and orchard, Stephenson's grew from a fruit stand by the side of the main highway, to a four-seater lunch counter, into an award winning restaurant. All the great and good who visited Kansas City had a meal at Stephenson's.
My dad first ate there when it was the lunch counter and we continued to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions at Stephenson's until, one by one, we all moved to different parts of the country. In my case, out of the country!
Served in a small, lidded pewter casserole, each meal at Stephenson's featured this rich rice dish. The waiter or waitress would place your plate in front of you and with a flourish, whip off the lid of the tiny casserole to reveal your portion of Green Rice. It might seem a bit pretentious now, but then it was all part of the theatre of dining out. My Green Rice Casserole looks a bit more rustic in it's enamelled dish but it is just as delicious.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
3 cups rice, cooked
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can Evaporated milk (14 1/2 ounce or 410 g)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt*
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
*The recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon salt but I find 2 teaspoons are adequate
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake at 350C/180F for 30-45 minutes or until the rice is set and is lightly golden on top. Serve hot and with a flourish!
Today, we had honey and soy smoked fish with our green rice, but it's good with any meat or as a vegetarian main served with green salad and a crusty loaf of bread. Stephenson's is gone but at our house it's not forgotten!