I have an old copy of The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook, circa 1971. It is very serious and includes a recipe for nut and soy loaf and another for lentil loaf and something called macrobiotic super soup with buckwheat dumplings. Yikes. But occasionally there is a recipe where the resulting food tastes good despite the sincerity. This is one of the tastes-good recipes, a casserole of brown rice and cheddar cheese and egg and milk, sort of a savory rice pudding. It is a nice light dinner, on the table in under an hour if you have cooked brown rice on hand.
Here are the players: 3-1/2 cups of cooked long grain brown rice (or brown basmati or short grain); 1/2 cup finely chopped onion; 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper (or red or orange); 2 cups half and half; 3 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese; 4 eggs plus salt and pepper.
You will observe the pig-faced casserole, which was given to us by our old friend Mrs. Davis, who knew her way around amusing cookware. I am not sure what this is made of. Not metal or ceramic (at least not ceramic as I know it) or glass or wood. No matter. It works in the oven and is easy to clean.
We sprayed it with cooking spray and turned the oven on to 350 degrees.
I added the vegetables to the bowl that already held the rice, then added the eggs, mixing thoroughly. Then I added about 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Then the half and half and lastly the cheese.
When everything was thoroughly mixed in, I dumped the contents of the bowl into the casserole, and I put the casserole in the oven for about 40 minutes. I tested the casserole for doneness as one would test rice pudding or bread pudding: I stuck a knife into the casserole near the center. When the knife came out clean, the casserole was done.
And here is is. It’s pretty hot right out of the oven, so it should stand for maybe 10 minutes. I think we served it with acorn squash. But any green vegetable: spinach, broccoli, green beans, asparagus would be a nice color contrast on the plat. Plus salad of course. This will serve 4 people or 2 plus leftovers, which are good cold or warmed up.
And you would be eating a dish from an earlier equally but differently goofy era. Right on, brothers and sisters!