03 March 2008

As Promised - Best Spanish Rice Dish Ever!

Remember all that porcine goodness I was swooning over a couple weeks ago? Well, I swear I have been using my purchased ingredients. I just haven't really made anything that was blog-worthy. Last night, however, was an exception. I was so incredibly thrilled with dinner that I get a little drooly thinking about eating the leftovers tonight. It was an incredibly simple dish to throw together without much more effort than chopping onions. This is going to join in the rotation for go-to dinners for me.

So what is this mystery dinner anyway? It was a spin off of Spanish Rice. Now that stuff from a box probably isn't anyone's idea of a well-rounded dinner, but I was determined to create something I could feel good about eating that retained the essence of Spanish Rice. I felt confident I could attain a rich, complex flavor because I had two Spanish chorizo links from my Jungle Jim's shopping spree. Spanish chorizo is radically different from Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo contains thick chunks of pork and pork fat with lots of garlic and paprika flavor. Both types of chorizo are amazing in their own right, but I do not feel that they are appropriate substitutes for each other. If you do not have Spanish chorizo, do not substitute Mexican chorizo. Use a cured, smoked sausage like Linguiça (sometimes referred to as Portuguse Sausage) or even Kielbasa. Mexican chorizo isn't cured or smoked, it is a raw product that crumbles outside of its casing (like breakfast sausage). If someone has a more easily available substitute, please let me know.

Best Spanish Rice Dish Ever!

2 Spanish chorizo links, casing removed, sliced into 1/4" rounds (maybe 3-5 oz)
1 cup chopped onion
2 T minced garlic
2 chopped jalapeños (or to taste)
2 14 oz cans fire-roasted chopped tomatoes, with juices
2-3 roasted bell peppers, skin & seed pods removed, roughly chopped
1 T smoked Spanish paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

3-4 cups cooked, white, long grain rice for serving

Heat a non-reactive Dutch or French oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to the pan and brown for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the chorizo to drain on a paper-towel lined plate once browned. Add onions, garlic and jalapeños to the pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until beginning to brown. At this point you may need to add a little olive oil to the pan if it gets sticky (this is dependent on how much fat your chorizo released during the browning process). Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, spices and lemon juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the peas and reserved chorizo and stir to heat through. Mix in chopped cilantro and serve over white rice with lemon wedges.


RecipeGirl said...

Hmmm... interesting. I wonder if we even have Spanish chorizo around here. I see the Mexican stuff all over the place!

Josie said...

You have it in California for sure! I ate Portuguese Chorizo and Linguica in San Jose! If you look for towns that have a big commercial fishing industry, you will probably find a Portuguese immigrant enclave and you'll find it. You will have to keep an eye open for it... it is so good. I know you can also order it on line. So if you are up North in San Jose or San Francisco, you need to pick some up :)

LisaRene said...

It cracks me up when I come to your blog! First I see your food photo, then I always take in your avatar photo of your dogs staring up at me as if they are hoping for a bite of what you prepared :)

It is so satisfying to make a meal so good you can't wait for leftovers the next day .

Peanut Butter Étouffee is starting a monthly food/pet blogging event called: Food Bloggy Pets of the Month featuring our pets with a food post. Since you are a dog lover and a foodie, I thought you might be interested.


Josie said...

lisarene- thank you so much for pointing out that blogging event! I do love food with my dogs, or dogs with my food, or whatever :) I am heading over to check it out!