October 27, 2012

Parsley Rice

Rice history in the US
and a good rice recipe.

The cultivation of rice in America began in reality by accident when a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charles Towne harbor (Charleston SC) back in 1685. To repay the kindness of the colonists for repairs to the ship, the captain offered a gift of a small quantity of "Golden Seede Rice" (named for its color) to a local planter.



The low-lying marshlands bordered by fresh tidal water rivers of the Carolinas and Georgia proved to be ideal for rice production. The soils were rich, reasonably flat and highly fertile. They also were so soft a man could hardly stand on them, with twice a day tides pushing fresh river waters onto the flood plains, nothing else could be grown there.

By 1700, rice was established as a major crop for the colonists. That year 300 tons of American rice, referred to as "Carolina Golde Rice," was shipped to England. Colonists were producing more rice than there were ships to carry it.

Today, the Mississippi Delta Area of Arkansas and Mississippi collectively grows the most rice in the US. Louisiana and Texas brings in a high yield of rice each year also. The move to the southerly states came when the early Acadian farmers grew rice in wet marshes and low lying prairies where they could also farm crayfish when the fields were flooded. By the way, California is the second largest producer of rice in the US thanks to the Chinese who brought rice growing practices with them while they were laborers duing the Gold Rush.

There are many names for green rice and many with different ingredients. This one is well balanced in flavors and is a perfect side dish for so many main entrees.  Enjoy!

Parsley Rice
serves 6

4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1  cup long grain white rice
1/4 green or red bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
splash of lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add butter and saute the onions for about 3 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

At boil, reduce heat to lowest simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat, allow to set for 3 minutes and fluff with a wide-tine fork.

1 comment :

  1. Well, I have to admit, I didn't realize we grew rice in the US.

    ReplyDelete