Spanish Rice Recipe
Since I have to please a large crowd of vegetarians in the house, I'm always looking for ways to make my dishes more flavorful and nutritious. Traditional Spanish rice is already packed with flavor, so with the addition of just a few ingredients it can become a complete meal. To the standard blend of white rice, onion, tomato, garlic and cilantro, I add protein in the form of cannellini beans and vegetarian chorizo. I finish the dish with a little saffron and Tabasco for an additional kick of fragrance and flavor.
For the non-vegetarians, I make a ground lamb chorizo that I add to the Spanish rice instead. This way everyone is happy, and it's not a lot of additional work for me.
Yields: 62-1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (15 oz) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with the juice
3 tablespoons canola oil, as needed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon salt, + 1 teaspoon for rice water
3 pinches saffron threads
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup vegetarian chorizo (see tips)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Wash the rice thoroughly. Place in a large bowl, cover with water. Add the lemon juice. Soak for an hour. Drain as much water as possible.
Fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Bring the liquid back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the rice will cook evenly all the way through. Cook for about 7-8 minutes at a bubbly simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt halfway through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the white rice and the rice will be more tender). Keep stirring the rice every now and then so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. The grains of rice should still be still a little hard, about 2/3 of the way cooked. Drain the liquid from the rice using a fine mesh colander. Do NOT rinse. Discard the liquid.
In a deep saucepan, heat the canola oil. Cook the onions until nicely golden (may take 5-6 minutes). Add the green bell pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes until tender. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
In the same saucepan, add the garlic and cook until slightly golden. Add the canellini beans. Gently toss the cannellini beans for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the beans from the pan and set aside. Add the shallot to the remaining oil in the pan (or add more oil if necessary). Cook until golden, then add the vegetarian chorizo. Separate the "soyrizo" into small lumps using a spoon. Cook until each piece is nicely browned. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
In the same saucepan, add the diced tomatoes and juice, the white rice, paprika, cayenne pepper, Tabasco and saffron. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you like. Cover and cook over high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Steam should escape from the pot. Remove the lid, stir well, then add the onions and green bell pepper. Cover the saucepan one more time and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and the "soyrizo". Gently stir the Spanish rice without mashing the beans. Cover and let stand until you're ready to serve.
Garnish with cilantro.
The vegetarian chorizo (click on the link for the recipe) has a similar texture to ground beef. The spices really add an extra dimension of flavor to the dish that plain, bland tofu cannot.
The method for the rice is the same used for making wild rice. I just under-cook the white rice a little more as it finishes cooking with the diced tomatoes.Published By: on June 27, 2009.