Brookland high school senior Ragen Hodges has grown up around a rice farm.
Now, she's sharing her knowledge with everyone she meets as Miss Craighead County Rice.
"We went to Brinkley last weekend and competed with, I think it was 10 other girls," Hodges said. "We had to do an interview, a speech and then we let the judges taste our dish."
Ragen is the daughter of David and Angie Hodges.
"Arkansas ranks first among six major rice-producing states," Hodges said. "Rice grown here accounts for 48 percent of the U.S. rice production."
Hodges will help to kick off "Rice Month" at an event hosted Friday, September 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main Regions Bank lobby, 2400 East Highland Drive.
The Craighead County Farm Bureau Women and Regions Bank will host the rice-tasting. Hodge's signature dish is:
Ragen's Rice~N~Wings Salad
2 Cups cooked rice
2 (12 oz.) Cans chunk chicken (drained)
¼ Cup celery, chopped
¼ Cup green onion, chopped
½ Cup REAL mayonnaise
¼ Cup green seedless grapes, sliced
¼ Cup purple seedless grapes, sliced
Cook rice as directed and set aside to cool. Mix together chicken, celery, onions, rice and mayonnaise. Add green and purple grapes and mix well. Serve on croissants for delicious sandwiches. Yield: 8-10 sandwiches.
This dish is very versatile. It can be served as a main dish or as an appetizer when served with crackers. As an alternate to the croissant, use a leaf of lettuce for a quick lettuce wrap.
*This rice recipe contains all foods in the food pyramid.
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