Recipe: Spanish Rice

Reasonable facsimile. Sadly I forgot to take a picture!
THIS one is going into my regular recipe rotation!

I served this - along with some spicy sausage and caesar salad - at dinner on Friday. My friends and I all loved it. It served three of us as a side dish, and there were two large servings left over. I just finished the last bit of it (on Sunday), cold, and it was so delicious.

As with everything, use what you've got and substitute where necessary. I'm a huge fan of experimenting in the kitchen.

Spanish-style Rice

• 1 c. basmati rice, rinsed
• Approx. 1 1/4 c. water (Basmati / water ratio is usually 1:1, so I used a bit extra. Adjust this to suit whichever type of rice you're using)
• 1 small can tomato paste
• 1 fresh tomato, chopped
• 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped and de-seeded (next time I'll use two. I wasn't quite spicy enough)
• 3/4 cup whole kernel corn (I used frozen, but canned or fresh would do nicely)
• 1 of each: Chopped and de-seeded red and yellow bell peppers
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 tsp. coriander powder
• Few dashes or 1 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 tsp. celery salt
• 3 large leaves of fresh basil (about the size in the photo), cut with scissors in a Chiffonade style
• 2 tbsp. oil (I use canola)

In a large non-stick pot with a lid, cook the onions in oil on med heat. Sprinkle with a bit of the salt. Cook until translucent, and add garlic. Cook a few minutes longer and add all of the peppers and fresh tomatoes. Turn up the heat a bit so that everything browns slightly. Reduce heat, and cook a few more minutes until the veggies begin to soften. Add all of your spices except for the bay leaf, basil, and W sauce. Mix well until coated. Add the tomato paste and stir until blended. Blend in the basil.

Turn the heat up to high and get your rice. Add the rice and water along with the W sauce and bay leaf, and stir everything until well coated. Let the mixture begin to boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for approx. 15-20 mins (or however long your rice package says - for example brown rice could take up to 45 minutes), stirring once or twice just to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom, until most of the liquid is absorbed. If your rice happens to brown or blacken slightly on the bottom, don't worry! This will only enhance the flavour (I use a gas stove, so the centre of my pans tend to cook faster). The rice should be well-coated but not wet. If your rice still isn't cooked, add a bit more water, return to a boil, and simmer again. You don't want to stir too much or the rice will break apart.

Alternatively, you could simply add cooked rice to the mixture and omit the water. The favour may be affected somewhat, but probably still delicious.

Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!


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