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~Eight Delightfully Delicious Rice-a-Roni Dinner Ideas~

IMG_0296Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, was a savvy entrepreneur's son's take on rice pilaf.  Italian born immigrant Domenico (Charlie) DeDomenico moved to California in 1895 to open a fresh produce store.  After becoming a successful businessman, he married Maria Ferrigno, an immigrant from Salerno, Italy, where her family owned a pasta factory.  In 1912, Maria persuaded Charlie to set up a similar business in the Mission District of San Francisco.  Gragnano Products, Inc., was born and began delivering pasta to Italian restaurants and stores throughout the area.

Maria and Charlie's sons, Paskey, Vince, Tom and Anthony worked in the family business, and, in 1934, Paskey changed the name to the Golden Grain Macaroni Company. Tom's wife Lois fell in love with a pilaf recipe she received from an Armenian immigrant, Mrs. Pailadzo Captanian, which she served at a family gathering.  After tasting the unique pilaf, which was made by sautéing a combination rice and pasta in butter before adding chicken broth and seasonings, Vince went to work developing a new product.  In 1958, his creation, named Rice-a-Roni, was introduced to the NW United States as "The San Francisco Treat".  Four years later, in 1962, it went nationwide.

6a0120a8551282970b0240a5229337200bComing up with copycat recipes for three flavors of made-at-home Rice-a-Roni (chicken, beef and Spanish-style) made for a fun few days.  Truth told, I love developing copycat recipes -- I'm good at it too. From sea to shining sea, as items we've come to take for granted disappear from our store shelves, many have reached out to express appreciation for these recipes. There's more.  Many have reached out to request more copycat recipes. ~ Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix & My Copycat Recipe ~  is one example.

~ Spicy Creole-Style Shrimp and Rice-a-Jamba Roni ~

IMG_0911~ Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage & Rice-a-Jamba Roni ~

IMG_1009~ Oh-My-Goodness-Good Retro Rice-a-Burger Roni ~

IMG_1156~ Homestyle Chicken and Vegetable Rice-a-Roni Pilaf ~

IMG_1459~ Oh My Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni Turkey Dinner ~

IMG_2205~ Mexican-Style Rice-a-Roni and Chorizo Meatballs ~

IMG_1873~ Easy Chinese-Style Pork-Fried Rice-a-Roni Stir-Fry ~

IMG_1365~ Teriyaki-Style Chicken Wings & Rice-a-Roni Bowls ~

IMG_2469"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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