Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rice and Beans, Spanish Style

I'm particular about my cooking shows. I like certain shows and certain personalities for certain things. For example, I love The Barefoot Contessa for soups and breads. They are amazing and sophisticated and all around wonderful. But if I'm looking for something quick, Ina Garten is not the way to go. I also dislike her desserts because I feel like they all have liquor. I don't have anything against desserts with liquor, I just don't want to have to buy a new kind every time I make dessert. For quick dinners, I love Rachael Ray. She gets a bad rap for being annoying and I will admit that her earlier episodes do grate on the nerves a bit. However, her more recent episodes are definitely toned down and her dishes are quick, yummy and are getting healthier each week. I'm currently on the fence about Giada de Laurentiis. She has some really annoying tendencies during her shows and I feel like the show is a bit disingenuous. It doesn't show in real time how long it takes to make things and she tends to do a lot of prep ahead of time (which is frustrating because I'm watching the how to see how it's done). Also, her recipes aren't always very good. I'm made a few different dishes and frankly they weren't fabulous. So I'm a bit unconvinced.

Anywho, this dish is from Rachael Ray. I'm always looking for quick dinners I can make that are healthy and cost conscious. This recipe was really delicious and quick. I will definitely make it again. I especially love the saffron rice- I think it could just be made on the side and used with a ton of other options. The flavor was incredible and unique. I must admit, I almost scrapped the whole thing when I saw the price of saffron. It's crazy expensive. Almost $20 for one little bottle. However, (I'll pause for you to pick up your jaw off the floor) it goes a really really long way. I used a small pinch (which is a lot for saffron) and there was tons left. So I think it's worth it.

Rice and Beans, Spanish Style
recipe from here
1 red bell pepper
EVOO, for drizzling
12 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup broken spaghetti
1 cup long-grain rice
1 healthy pinch saffron (about 24 threads)
1 quart chicken stock
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 to 2 red Fresno chile peppers, sliced (I just used green bell peppers because I'm a spicy wuss)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry sherry or 1/2 cup white wine
One 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, drained
1 small bundle black or Tuscan kale (I just used regular kale and chopped it)
Freshly grated nutmeg

I started by slicing in half the red bell pepper and de-seeding it. Then I blackened the pepper over one of my burners. I am afraid of my burner especially because my oven is old, so I used this little trick. Once the outside of the pepper was beginning to blacken, I remove the pepper from the heat and let cool. Then I chopped it up.
 Next, I heated the butter and some olive oil in a large sauce pan. Then I added the broken up spaghetti and cooked it until nicely brown. I know this seems like a weird step, but it adds such an amazing flavor. Once the pasta was brown, I added the rice, toasted for a few minutes, then added the saffron and the broth. I simmered until most of the liquid was gone and the rice was tender.
 Meanwhile, I heated up the leftover olive oil in a large skillet and added the sausage. Once the sausage was mostly cooked, I added the chopped green pepper, garlic and the onion and cooked until the veggies were tender.
 I deglazed the skillet with the sherry and then added the tomato paste and let cook for a few minutes.
Then I added the beans, chopped red pepper and the kale and poured in the brother. I put the lid on the skillet and simmered for a few minutes until the kale was wilted. I added a few sprinkles of nutmeg and this part was done.
This picture shows how the rice looked when finished.
I put a few scoops of rice in the bowl and then added the sausage/vegetable mixture over the top. I burned the crap out of my mouth because it was so delicious I couldn't wait to eat it. I burned my mouth on the first bite and then kept burning it because I couldn't stop eating. It was so good!

1 comment:

  1. I am squarely in the "ugh, Rachael Ray" camp. Not that I've ever actually watched her show, but I feel confident concluding that she sucks because, you know, Bourdain says so.

    At the same time, I'm squarely in the "if it's good, it's good" camp too. So, if this dish is delicious, then I support it. It certainly looks good, and I would love to try it some time.


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