15 September 2011

Commissioning a Supper in C

I got a cold, which sucks. Though, in my search for non-orange sources of vitamin C, interesting facts were learned. Such as: a single red bell pepper has 2-3 times as much vitamin C as a single orange. A good fact to know; bell peppers can have hummus on them, oranges not so much. Bell peppers easily go in most cooked dinners, oranges not so much. Bell peppers taste good, oranges not so much. So; a dinner. It should contain red bell peppers and be warm, those being my only constraints. I went with a slightly-modified standard of my college days - Spanish rice. It defied all earthly descriptions.
Too many times I've burned my Spanish rice due to poor pots and improper heat; I finally found a way around that. I cooked everything in a pan, stirring constantly, instead of in a pot with the lid in. I used arborio rice, which you can probably find at your local upscale grocery store or any place with a wide grain selection. It's the rice you would use for risotto. You can also substitute other beans in this recipe for garbanzo, or leave them out entirely - if so, use some vegetable or chicken broth in place of the bean liquid. A perfect dish for a cold, much better than the canned soup I had for lunch; warm and golden, like an oven that's wide open.
Spanish Rice and Beans
Serves 1
1/3 cup arborio rice
1 small (8 oz) can garbanzo beans
1 cup liquid consisting of all the bean juice + water to top it off
1 red pepper, diced
1 flavorful and soft (heirloom) tomato, chopped into 8+ pieces
dash cinnamon
dash cumin
dash ground ginger
rosemary for garnish

In a pan, heat a bit of olive oil over medium-low. Add in the diced bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. While that is cooking, separate out the bean liquid from the beans themselves and add enough water to get a cup of liquid. Add rice to the pan and sautee for a minute before adding 1/4 or 1/3 of the liquid, the tomato, and all the seasoning but the rosemary. Stir constantly; don't let it boil, though it should be hot enough that if you were to stop stirring it would boil. Once all the liquid is absorbed, pour in half the remaining liquid. Continue stirring; once all of that liquid has been absorbed, add in the beans and the rest of the liquid, cooking until all is absorbed. Top with rosemary and serve; to your nephew you can give it as a present.

You may need to (or choose to) add more liquid; this will make it more of a risotto. If you go this route, you will want to add more flavor; either in the form of butter, more tomato, or stock of some sort.

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