The phrase has followed me around most of my life – “You’ve got a champagne taste but a beer budget” – and I don’t even like beer! Oh, did I miss the intention of that phrase? Yes, most of my life I have liked “things” way above what my budget could afford. The only way I can afford to attend an upscale charity auction is to donate a “rent a chef (me)” to cook a gourmet dinner for the auction winner.
But before I figured that out, I learned a valuable lesson when I attended an auction on a beautiful yacht in Newport Beach, California. I was given a bid number on a card as I entered the yacht. All throughout the boat were beautiful items that I drooled over. These items were so expensive that they had people standing at each table watching attendees and answering questions (so I thought). The people nodded at me, I nodded back. What I didn’t realize is that the way I was holding my bid number (and nodding), I was bidding on items as I walked around. Apparently, I did not get the 411 on the bidding process (and probably didn’t listen if they told me because I had no intention, nor the money, to bid on anything).
At the end of the event, they announced the winners of the auction items. I was oblivious when they called my number. A woman standing next to me tapped me on the shoulder and told me my number was being announced. The shock on my face must have been evident as I walked towards the announcer to find out what I had just unknowingly bought. Well, thank goodness it was a haircut at a chic hair salon that only cost me a couple of hundred dollars (instead of the thousands I thought I might be liable to pay for an over-the-top expensive item). Lesson learned!
So when I decided to make this recipe, I was overjoyed that finally, finally, I could afford my champagne taste, albeit only in rice. LOL. This recipe went together so quickly, it’s essentially fuss-free. I paired it with crab cakes for dinner one night and added a medley of vegetables to the leftovers another night for a vegetarian meal. Wonderfully delicious on both occasions.
This recipe was born because we cleaned out the wine fridge. Good excuse, right? Well, I think so. We found a bottle of sparkling wine (champagne-ish) that had been in our inventory for a while. What a good opportunity to use it in a dinner dish – and rice won!
Saute the onions, rice, and pasta together with the butter.
Saute until ingredients start to brown or turn golden.
Added champagne and chicken broth. Since I only added a cup of champagne, there was plenty left over to drink. Maybe I should rename this recipe Tipsy Cook and Drunken Rice?