Dear Readers, For research this week, I began looking through my files for a few great rice recipes. I found so many I have made and loved it made my head spin. I am including one that really is one of my family’s favorites: Yia Yia’s Greek Rice. It is really a rice and orzo combination dish and when the kids and grandkids come over and see it is included in the evening meal, they are elated. Now mind you this is not a low-calorie or low-carb dish. It is packed full of butter and olive oil, so mind your portions. Another I am including is one not seen in Texas very often: red rice. Not red beans and rice but red rice, low-country style typically served with collard greens. I first tried this a few years ago and then last week I got a call from David Young, the head chef at The Sea Shack Restaurant on Hilton Head Island. I was there last year and he actually let me in the kitchen. He only let me stir a pot a few times and then he took over, which was OK with me, after all, it was his kitchen and his specialty dishes. I did ask him for a few recipes but he said I had to wait till his cookbook came out, and yesterday he mailed me a copy of the book, “Burnin’ Down South.” It is a very interesting book...a lot about sweet potatoes. His red rice recipe was very interesting. I had the opportunity to try this several times in the past at many different Carolina restaurants, so I am including Chef David’s recipe for you to enjoy.  Yia Yia Karen’s Greek Rice 1/2 cup butter  2 tablespoons olive oil   1/2 cup orzo pasta   1 cup raw rice  3 cups hot chicken broth  1 teaspoon salt  White pepper to taste (approximately 1/4 teaspoon) DIRECTIONS Place olive oil in a medium saucepan; add and melt butter; add orzo and stir till lightly brown. Add rice till it becomes whiter and dry. Add chicken broth, slowly. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir and cook covered 10 more minutes.  Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving.  NOTE: I sometimes add sliced mushrooms to this recipe. If you elect to do so, add 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms as you add the rice. Low Country Red Rice adapted from David Young’s cookbook “Burning Down South” 1/3 cup vegetable oil   1/2  cup each, diced red onion and celery   1/3 cup each, diced, red pepper and green bell pepper   1/2 cup shredded carrots   2 tablespoon chopped garlic   1 teaspoon cumin, ground   1/2  cup each, diced red onion and celery   1/3 cup each, diced, red pepper and green bell pepper   1/2 cup shredded carrots   2 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic   1 teaspoon each, ground cumin, chili powder, thyme and oregano   2 teaspoons each, sugar, Herbs de Provence, ground ginger and black pepper  1 can of 15 1/2 ounce each, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes de Provence, ground ginger and black 2 cups vegetable broth  2 1/2 cups long grain white rice    Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS Place oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add black pepper and all other spices and herbs, mix in diced and crushed tomatoes, and simmer 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add rice and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender. NOTE: It will stick and burn on the bottom if not carefully attended. This rice is a great vegan dish and goes well with collard greens, fish or any bean dish. Happy Saffron Rice Medley 2 cups canned no-salt-added chicken broth  1/3 teaspoon of saffron   1 cup (180 g) raw long-grain rice   2 tablespoons (21 g) golden raisins  5 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced   1 tablespoon (7.5 ml) grated orange zest   2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh orange juice  DIRECTIONS In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and saffron to a rapid boil. Add rice, reduce heat to low and cover. Cover and cook rice, undisturbed, for 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from stove and add raisins, onions, orange zest and orange juice. Do not stir. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff rice with a fork, mixing thoroughly. Serve at once.   Per serving: 195 calories (0% calories from fat),  5 g protein, 0 total fat (0 saturated fat),   43 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 24 mg sodium  Diabetic exchanges: 3 carbohydrate (2 1/2 bread/starch, 1/2 fruit) NOTE: Diabetic friendly. P.S. If you want more information about David Young, visit http://outskirtspress.com/burnindownsouth.

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