15 March 2011

Lazy Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is one of those dishes I grew up with that I don't like cooking due to time involvement, but would love to eat every day. And the few times I've tried it recently have ended in scorched rice, or worse. The proper way, or at least the way I learned, is to replace 1/2 cup of water with 1 cup of tomato paste when cooking rice, and to cook it very slowly. Think an hour or more. Plus seasonings, etc, but the important part is cooking it covered for an hour. Stirring - that is the hard part for me to remember.
I was feeling a little lazy about my dinner plans; I had wanted to do an oven-bake involving butter beans, tomato paste, and cauliflower, but work interfered and I had about 30 minutes to cook dinner before I began gnawing off my arm. So, lazy dinner. I ended up creating a very hearty thing - it was somewhere in the spanish rice/jambalaya family, but could have easily moved in the direction of a soup. And it was pretty damn tasty.
Lazy Spanish Rice
Feeds 2 (great for leftovers)
~40 minutes
2/3 cup uncooked rice
1 can butter beans
1 red onion, chopped
Enough water for the rice + 2/3 cup additional
8 oz can of tomato paste (not sauce, paste)
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp + splash olive oil
Dash of cumin
Dash of dill weed
Dash of chili flakes (optional)

Start cooking the rice, adding 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of white wine vinegar to the water. Assuming your rice takes 30 minutes to cook, 15 minutes after starting it place the red onion in a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes. At this point, I added the 2/3 cup water and steamed cauliflower in the pot (which I removed before adding the rest). If you don't want to steam a veggie, you can add the water and let simmer over low.

Once the rice is about to finish, add the tomato paste, spices, and second tsp of vinegar to the onion and water mixture, stirring to mix it all together. Add the rice and beans and cook on medium-low until you either think it is done, or get too hungry and just call it done. This varies, but should take about 5-10 minutes.

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