Friday, September 16, 2011

Spanish rice

Did anyone else out there love a certain boxed rice product as a kid that had a "Spanish rice" flavor full of tomatoes and black olives? Well, I did. My mom didn't make that boxed stuff very often; for me it was always thought of as a treat. I thought about this rice recently when I was making some summer vegetable enchiladas and decided to try to make it for myself. I worked from memory trying to remember the flavors that were in the rice I ate as a kid - black olives, onions, tomatoes... I think the rice turned out pretty good and is likely much healthier than the boxed brand I remember. I used water because I wanted to keep this meal vegetarian. You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock in place (or half water/half stock). This will add more flavor to the rice, but I thought it was good the way it was. The fresh tomatoes help to make it sweet (and used up some of the romas that our plant has been producing). This rice is a perfect side dish for tacos, enchiladas, chicken with salsa, or even on a burrito. It will serve four as a side. 

Spanish rice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup long grain white rice
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
2 cups water (or stock/broth of your choice)
1/3 cup sliced, pitted black olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

In a large skillet with a lid, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the Spanish onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the rice. Stir to coat with the oil and all the spices. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Place the lid on and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered for about 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and gently stir in the olives and scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot.

What was I cooking one year ago?: carrot-zucchini-ginger muffins and Moroccan stewed chicken

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