Spanish-Style Everything Rice
This rice dish is a dinner all by itself!
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- A generous pinch saffron threads, about 24
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta or broken pieces of thin spaghetti
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- A small handful golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, diced
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 fresh chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup large Spanish, pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked sweet paprika, a palmful
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- 1/2 cup green peas
- About 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted Marcona almonds or toasted sliced almonds
Yields: Serves 4-6
Char pepper over an open flame burner or under the broiler on high with oven door cracked to allow steam to escape. Once pepper is blackened all over, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to handle, then seed and chop.
Heat stock and add saffron to allow saffron to steep. Do not reduce.
In a saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add pasta and toast until deep golden brown and very nutty in aroma. Add rice, stir, add saffron stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook rice 16-18 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, place raisins in a small dish and cover with very hot water to reconstitute – use just enough water to cover raisins. Heat a tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat in a large skillet. To hot oil, add chorizo and brown at edges. Once rendered, remove to a plate to keep the chorizo from drying out. Return pan to heat and to the hot drippings add onions, chili pepper, celery, garlic, olives, chopped roasted red pepper and season with salt, pepper, paprika and cinnamon, toss and cook to tender crisp, 5 minutes. Add chorizo back to pan with peas and heat through. Stir in raisins and deglaze the pan with sherry.
Fluff rice and fold into chorizo, peppers and onions. Top with parsley and almonds and serve straight from skillet at table into shallow bowls.
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