Place the rice in a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear.
Add the water to a good-sized pot; add the tablespoon of table salt, and one tablespoon of the butter.
Bring to the boil, and then add the rice.
Allow the water to return to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is just done, this should take from 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t overcook the rice.
When cooked, remove from the stove and, using a colander with a fine mesh screen, drain out any leftover liquid.
Place the rice in a bowl, and allow completely cool. Fluff the rice with a fork, and then cover the bowl with cling wrap, and place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
Chef’s Note: While refrigerating the rice is not an absolutely necessary, it does help with the overall taste and mouth feel of the finished dish.
If you have cooled the rice overnight, remove it from the refrigerator, and proceed with the remainder of the steps.
Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (176c).
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the remaining butter (3 Tablespoons), until the foam subsides.
Add the shallots, celery and carrots, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the peas, and allow them to warm up in the butter mixture.
Remove the pot from the heat, and add the rice , and the cheese.
Carefully fold the ingredients together until fully mixed.
Lightly oil the cups of a large size muffin tin.
Chef’s Note: These rice muffins are very delicate, so it’s important to make sure the muffin cups are thoroughly lubricated. A cooking spray is a good choice in this respect.
Fill each one of the cups with the rice mixture, about 3/4 full.
Depending on how much you fill the cups, you should have enough mixture for 10 to 12 rice muffins. So, if you don't want that many, or you don't plan to freeze them, just cut the recipe in half.
Smooth down the tops, but don’t press the mixture into the cups too hard.
Place in the preheated oven, and cook until the tops are golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before, carefully removing them from the muffin tin.
Chef’s Tip: I typically slide a knife around the outsides of the rice, and then invert them onto a plate.
Chef’s Tip: There are a lot of instances where I find myself sliding a knife around something to loosen it before removing. Unless you’re really tender with that knife, you are going to wind up scratching all your nice bakeware. So, I went to my local fast-food joint, and picked up a few of their cheap-o plastic knifes, and solved the problem.
Serving Tip: I like to put one of these rice muffins on a plate, and then add a few slices of roast beef. It make for a wonderful presentation.
Presentation Tip: Another way to make these really special, is to cut some squares of brown baking paper, slightly larger than the muffin tin cups, then press them into the cups with the bottom of a glass, and then fill the paper cups with the mixture. It makes for a beautiful presentation.