Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Puerto Rican Rice

I've been making variations of this recipe for thirty years. Did I say thirty years? Wow. That's a long time. I'm often asked to bring this to family get-togethers. There are many versions of Puerto Rican rice. They usually contain green olives and sofrito (a blend that includes onion, garlic and green pepper). Many versions contain pork. Before I quit eating meat, I would add 4 vienna sausage cut in half moons. This version is meatless, but you could add a vegan sausage or other faux meat if you wanted to. You would add it when you add the onion.

Kari's Puerto Rican Rice (low-fat vegan version)

2 tsp oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green olives, sliced (about 12 olives)
2 cloves garlic, minced (You can substitute with garlic powder. Add with other spices.)
1 Tbsp parsley flakes (approx)
1 tsp cumin
pinch or two crushed red chili flakes (more, if you want it spicy)
pinch or two Mexican oregano
salt and pepper, to taste*
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups water, scant (You don't want this to come out soupy, so go shy of 2 cups water, probably closer to 1 3/4)
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor (optional)
1 can pinto beans (or kidney beans), rinsed and drained

In a large nonstick skillet with tight-fitting lid, heat oil and add rice. Saute over medium-high until rice turns opaque and starts to brown. Be careful not to burn. Add onion, bell pepper, and green olives. Saute, stirring occasionally, a few minutes until veggies soften. Add garlic and saute, stirring frequently until veggies are translucent and starting to brown.. Some crispy edges are nice. Add parsley flakes and spices. Cook and stir a minute to toast spices. Carefully add tomato sauce (It will splatter!). Cook and stir a minute or so. It will thicken a bit and darken. Add water and bouillon, and stir together. Add drained beans. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes. Do not remove lid before time is up. After 20 minutes, stir. If rice is still a bit soupy, return lid and cook a few more minutes. When liquid is absorbed, turn off heat. Let rice rest with lid on for 5 or 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.

*Salt amount will vary depending on whether you use bouillon and no-salt tomato sauce.

This reheats well in the microwave. Or you can eat it cold straight out of the fridge like my brother.

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