Friday, January 11, 2013

GGFF: Fiesta Rice

I would hardly consider myself a culinary expert and definitely not a chef (as chefs wear coats and have legit training), but since I have this blog and do a fair amount of cooking and baking, I am often the answer lady when it comes to culinary questions from family and friends. I don't mind, and every once in a while, I realize I actually have an answer to a question. The question posed to me most often, oddly enough, is, "What do I serve with enchiladas/tacos/burritos?" I hate to admit it, but I find this laughable because I am the most Irish person on the face of the planet. I'm pasty, pale, have a low tolerance for all things spicy, and am so fair-skinned I can get a sunburn indoors at night in the middle of a snowstorm. (What can I say? It's a gift,)

Regardless as to why my friends and family ask me what to serve with their Mexican-American entrees, I can say that the one side I suggest without reservation is this rice. It's become such a staple at our table that I honestly couldn't believe I hadn't blogged it before. It's a simple side to serve with your meal and can be whipped up while your enchiladas bake in the oven or your fajitas finish on the grill.

Fiesta Rice
(Angie original, adapted from about 1,000 other Fiesta Rice recipes on the web)

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, diced (I usually use 2)
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (or 14 oz. diced tomatoes, seeded)
1 T. tomato paste
1 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. long grain white rice*
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 green onions, chopped (optional)

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Saute onion in oil for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add peppers, saute 3-5 minutes, and add in tomatoes and heat through. To the skillet, add your tomato paste, broth, and rice. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and cover.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15-20 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, check the rice for doneness and stir thoroughly. Check for taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve topped with green onions, if desired. (Clearly from my picture, I did not. Oops.)

*When I have some leftover minute rice or cooked white rice, I will use that in place of the uncooked rice here. The minute rice I will add last, cover the pan, and then pull the pan from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. For the cooked rice, I reduce the amount of broth to at least half, even 1/3 or 1/4 c, depending on how much rice I have leftover. (More rice = more liquid.) I follow the recipe as directed, I just greatly reduce the cooking time.

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