There are a million recipes for Spanish rice out there. The one I found in the New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook nails it for me, with a few variations, of course.
I think the best part about this recipe is that it is, indeed, idiot-proof. If you know how to chop an onion and open a can, then you’ve got it. It takes 1/2 an hour from start to finish, and everyone’s happy when they get it. If you do Weight Watchers on the old system, it’s a 3 for 3/4 of a cup, which is a good deal because this is filling.
I serve this with any Mexican meal, from burritos to enchiladas to tostadas to whatever. You can make this a meal unto itself; grill up some chicken or chorizo, slice it up, and put it on top of a portion of this rice, and Bob’s your uncle.
Idiot-Proof Spanish Rice
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion (use a variety, if you have them…it makes it muy sexy)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (for whatever reason, I’m always out when I make this, so I just omit it totally and it’s just fine)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tbsp. chili powder (heaping means a big one, wise guy)
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained (or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, of course, chopped and their juices saved)
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked and washed white rice
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies, undrained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 black pepper or to taste
About 5 dashes of a vinegary hot pepper sauce, like Tabasco (not Tapatio)
1/2 cup green or black olives, sliced
In a large skillet that has a lid, get the oil hot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers (if you’re using them), and garlic. Saute these until they’re tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the chili powder. Stir and cook it for 1 minute more.
Add the washed rice and stir it around in there for a minute; it makes the rice happy. Then, add the rest of the ingredients except the olives. Stir it well, turn up the heat, and get it boiling. Once it’s boiling, cover it and reduce the heat. Simmer it like this for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer it to a serving bowl and top with the sliced olives, like this:
Notice that I sliced martini olives for this. It was a school night, or those olives would have (should have) been in a martini. Ah, the sacrifices I make…
Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.
©Jon Marino 2013