Main Dish Spanish Rice
July 10, 2012
Aunt Suzy says . . .
This dish was inspired by a recipe in Sheila Lukin’s All Around the World Cookbook. It was a somewhat typical recipe for the Mexican dish we know as Spanish Rice, with Chorizo and an abundance of tomatoes added. I thought it would be even better with lots of vegetables and started building my recipe from there. I make a vegetarian version of this just as often as I make the recipe with Chorizo – instructions and ingredients for both are included. I thought to make this because we had an open bottle of Spanish Rioja, which turned out to be an excellent match. A Mexican beer – light or dark – goes really well also. I often serve this with orange and avocado salad as it complements the richness of the dish. I made a watermelon-cucumber salad yesterday, which also was a refreshing companion. In addition to use as a main dish, this can be served as a side to grilled fish/meat or tamales.
Please note this makes a mega amount (8-10 servings), so the recipe can be easily halved, although leftovers at a later date are delicious.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, small dice
1 large or 2 medium carrots, small dice
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Spanish-style Chorizo sausages, fully cooked, split lengthwise and sliced in half-moons (omit for vegetarian)
1/2-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, rinsed and diced, use for vegetarian
2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (water for vegetarian)
1 summer squash (yellow or zucchini), diced
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half
1-2 cans black beans, use for vegetarian
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Drain the tomatoes, using a strainer over a quart measuring cup. Add enough chicken stock or water to the strained liquid to measure 3 1/2 cups. You may not use all 3 cups of stock/water. Set aside the liquid and the drained tomatoes.
Steam or simmer the green beans to desired doneness. I like just past tender crisp for this dish. Drain and set aside.
Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the onion and carrots. Turn down heat to medium and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and Chorizo and saute for 2-3 more minutes. For vegetarian, add the garlic and the chipotle pepper. Next add the rice and saute for another 4 or so minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes, the 3 1/2 cups of liquid and the diced summer squash. Bring to a bubble, then turn down heat and simmer, covered, until done, 50-60 minutes.
When liquid is fully absorbed, remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Stir to combine ingredients, then stir in the green beans, black beans if using, and any other vegetables you are using. Let sit for a few minutes to heat up these last additions. Finally, stir in the cilantro or parsley or pass these for garnish at the table.
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS: I do not salt and pepper this dish due to the high salt content of many of the ingredients. I find it plenty flavorful without either, but add according to your taste. When making the meat version, I like to use AmyLu’s Chicken Chorizo, but I have used pork Chorizo and both chicken and pork Andouille sausage in this dish. Make sure you are using fully cooked vs. fresh Mexican Chorizo sausage. The original recipe called for white rice, but once I started using brown rice the dish with white paled in comparison :-). I’ve been thinking this would be nice with 2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes during season (vs. the canned), but haven’t tried it. Other vegetables can be added such as green peas or corn, and I think this would be good with thinly sliced radishes and avocado as garnish. Lots of options!