15 November 2007

Spanish Rice

I'm back and armed with a quick recipe! Actually, it's the only one left in my archives (forgot to take pics of my hominy soup, sorry guys) so that's what you get. I am making some lovely things the rest of the week, read lots of newspaper Food sections and cooking mags while traveling, so I'm well armed with posts. You just wait.

So, Spanish rice. This is something I always used to just make from the Rice-A-Roni package in the past, loved it and it was easy and I figured too hard to make on my own. My parents would make it from scratch when I was young, but I remembered it as taking forever to make. No thanks. I used my beloved Rice-A-Roni for years. So color me surprised when, about a year ago, I was craving my Spanish rice (with no packages of Rice-A-Roni in the cabinet, gasp!) and realized that Fanny Farmer had a surprisingly easy recipe of their own. Go figure!

This tastes like the boxed stuff, but oh so much fresher. And you get to add all the chiles you want, plus no standing over the stove! I love it. Very versatile too: You can make it as a side, of course, but it also makes a lovely meal if you add some sausage or chicken chunks. Or use brown rice to make it a bit healthier. I like to add cilantro (yeah, big surprise) so you can see that in my pics...

Spanish Rice

1/4 c. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I will also use a 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes)
4 Tbsp. diced canned chiles
1 c. long-grain rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 c. chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, green pepper, garlic, and celery.Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Transfer to the casserole dish and add the tomatoes, chiles, rice, salt, and pepper. Pour in the broth, stir, and cover dish with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Stir again, and bake for another 30 minutes. If you want to add meat, saute diced chicken or sausage and add to the casserole with the onion mixture.

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