Not vs Blue rice, though. Red rice is a bona-fide S.C. lowcountry treat. Sadly, this recipe will be somewhat incomplete, as the only way I know how to make it is in a truly great, yet now discontinued, kitchen implement known as the Charleston Rice Cooker. It is more or less like a double boiler, except that there is a recessed rim full of holes around the upper basket, and a tight-fitting lid, so that the contents are bathed in steam. Perfect rice every time; dry and fluffy, each grain separate. Mine is going to expire someday; it's already held together with tape and ingeniously applied tinfoil in places, though I feel that I should be able to find a tinsmith somewhere in Singapore... I imagine that you could substitute an electric rice cooker, though it may prove hard to clean afterwards, or perhaps a saucepan with a baffle under it, and a long cooktime? You guys are kind of on your own here. Sorry. Better go to some yard sales in S.C. or something. Mmm, yard sales in S.C.
6 slices thick-cut bacon. chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 1/2 c long-grain rice
2 1/4 c V-8 juice
1. Fry bacon to render fat; set bacon aside. Fry vegetables in bacon fat for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add raw rice and fry till rice is evenly coated with fat and grains are glistening and slightly translucent, about 1 minute. Add V-8 and bring to a boil.
3. Transfer mixture to the top of a Charleston Rice Cooker, the lower compartment of which is filled with boiling water. Or something else. Cook 25-30 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and let sit before eating.
Tabasco sauce (this is more like a mandatory accompaniment, actually)
fried fish and turnip greens
ham steak and lima beans
a plate and a fork and your hungry self
At my dad's house in Bluffton we have these plates that are plain white with a thin black line running around the rim; I think there used to be more, but they have gone the way of all things, and now there are just one or two. This is the plate I always picture heaping with red rice and greens. It's austere but stylish, kind of like a man in evening dress.
On the V-8, by the way, you might be tempted to use real live tomato juice from your own peeled, seeded summer tomatoes. I myself have done the very same thing with tomatoes from Berkeley Bowl. Verdict: don't bother. After all, if V-8 was good enough for my grandmother, it's good enough for you, ya punk. Also, don't get fancy and start thinking things like, "what if I added some garlic, or..." I guarantee my dad has tried all these things, under America's Test Kitchen type conditions, and found out the original is best.