Saturday, 8 September 2012

Stephenson's Green Rice Casserole

When I was a kid, I lived in a tiny town called Slater.   The nearest metropolis was Kansas City and my folks used to take us there for shopping excursions, concerts and to go to the theatre.  To me it was an adventure to go to a large department store and ride the escalator or elevator. (Translation:  elevator = lift).   What I enjoyed even more was having lunch at Stephenson's.



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!  




Stephenson's is closed now.  Fortunately, I bought a cookbook from them years ago and I can make some of their signature dishes here in the UK.  Today I am going to show you how to make Stephenson's most famous dish,  Green Rice Casserole.   



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!  

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Janice! It is a lovely dish, easy to prepare and never fails.

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  2. Janice, thank you for posting your version of the Green Rice recipe. I had the original recipe then lost it, but I found another version on the web. It did not seem quite right and that was because that version was missing the green pepper. I made it using your recipe and as the Brits say, "It was spot on!" That one ingredient a big difference in flavor. Well, it made a difference to MY taste buds! Thanks again.
    Big D in Sunnyvale, CA

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    1. I am glad I could be of assistance! One simple ingredient often makes the difference between a good dish and a great one! Enjoy!

      Debs : )

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  3. The New York Times has a U.S. map showing the most Googled Thanksgiving recipes. Missouri's is green rice! Thanks for your memories of Stephenson's Apple Farm...a large, local destination! Today I'm making our family's Deep South vintage green rice for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner...rice, spinach, grated & sautéed onion, garlic, milk and that old standby Campbell's mushroom soup.....as will one of my sons-in-law in Huntington Beach, California. Frim my house in rural Marshall, Missouri, just 12 mins from Slater .... To your house across the pond... thanks! Maybe we could achieve world peace & connectedness by providing all children with yummy green rice memories!

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    1. I love the idea of Green Rice being a tool for world peace! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, family, friends, and green rice.

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  4. Sooo happy for your post. Any advice on if this is best to cook and reheat, or prep tonight and cook when I arrive? Asking because I have a 4 hr. Drive. Any advice would be appreciated. Sarah-KC, MO

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    1. I would prep it and bake it when you arrive. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it is a delicious one.

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  5. Update: turns out my daughter and her fiancé in Sedalia will be bringing the green rice to tonight's festivities. See why the Green Rice Revolution for World Peace might already be underway? My mom made Green Rice, now the 3rd generation is making it, & the 4th is enjoying it! Btw, I use 3 kinds of cheese, including cream cheese and a liberal sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. (As a journalist, felt need to update.)

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    1. It's very exciting being at the forefront of a revolution. As a journalist, I believe you should be obligated to publish your Green Rice recipe. It's all in the interest of World Peace! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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    2. My parents grew up in Sedalia. My Aunt and cousins still do ... the Hoppers. The rest of the cousins live in Kansas City. Before we moved to Wyoming, my parents would frequent Stephenson's. I went a couple times in my lifetime and loved it. Remember the different rooms? My mom bought my aunt a cookbook one year, but I drew in it (I was 4) and she kept it. I still have it. I crave the Green Rice. I make it, but it's never as good as the original. What exactly did you do to pump up the recipe? Is it creamier, tastier?

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    3. Hi Lisa! Yes, I do remember all the different rooms. : D Do you remember the delicious apple cider that was in a barrel in the foyer? I follow the recipe in the cookbook and it is good but not exactly like the restaurant version. Perhaps a splash of whipping cream would make the recipe a bit richer. We have beautiful cheese here in Britain which makes a lovely version of Green Rice. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. Debs X

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