I’ve never been a fan of Spanish Rice until now. But I think that might be because I’m used to eating Spanish Rice from Rice-a-Roni, Taco Bell or Chi-Chi’s. (Do they have Spanish Rice at Taco Bell.) I don’t even know what inspired me to make this recipe other than my dad recently sent it to me and I had some canned tomatoes and tomato paste in my cupboard that needed to be used. I wasn’t a huge fan of all the ingredients in the recipe so I did a little ingredient swapping and after a night toiling over my hot stove in my hot kitchen, I fell in love with spicy Spanish-esque Rice. And I couldn’t stop eating!
- 4 c. raw white or brown basmati rice (I used long grain brown – it was way cheaper than basmati!)
- 2 T. canola, olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped (I used Serrano pepper – use one or two)
- 1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped (I used two red chili peppers)
- 1/2 c. red onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. garlic, chopped
- 1 1/3 T. ground cumin
- 1 1/3 T. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried coriander
- 2/3 c. tomato juice (I used the juice of one 28-oz can of whole plum tomatoes)
- 1 14.5-oz can tomato puree
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes (I used the tomatoes from the 28-oz. can of whole plum tomatoes, crushing them as they cooked)
- 2/3 c. garlic stuffed olives, cut in half (I omitted – I hate olives!)
- 2/3 c. black olives, sliced (see above note)
- 3 1/2 T. red wine vinegar (come to think of it, I have no idea if I added this ingredient or not)
- Cook rice in salted water until tender (according to package directions). Cool.
- While rice is cooking, heat canola oil in large saute pan or Dutch oven and saute peppers, onion and garlic until softened. Add cumin, chili, salt, oregano and coriander and saute for an additional 10 minutes (here I also added additional canola oil because my mixture was very dry and I was afraid it was going to burn).
- Add remaining ingredients, including rice. Simmer for 15 minutes to combine flavors and thicken the sauce.
The verdict: a bit spicy and pretty much perfect. I couldn’t put my fork down even though I wasn’t hungry at all and I only meant to eat a bite. (I ate an entire small bowl.) I would prefer a bit more vegetables in here, so maybe next time I might add in some additional onion or peppers. I actually don’t mind red bell peppers, but I wasn’t about to spend $1.79 on one pepper (which is what they were priced!).
I would definitely make this again. I have copious amounts left, actually, and am trying to determine what I can do with the leftovers. Burritos perhaps?