Monday, October 20, 2008

Spanish Rice

Please let me introduce my guest bloggers, Elke and Oscar, my neighbors. This is Oscar cooking in my kitchen on a Friday night.

When my neighbors came over for dinner, we decided to each bring some things to the table and ended up with a wide range of dishes from all over the world. I made potstickers because I still had supplies and ingredients left over for a nice appetizer for three.
A co-worker of mine brought homemade tamales to the office today and I purchased a dozen from her.
Elke asked if I had ingredients to make rice and I pulled out this Knorr instant "Fiesta Sides" and they almost had a heartattack. So they ran three doors down and brought the appropriate ingredients over to make Homemade Spanish Rice.

This is Oscar telling me that this is NOT spanish rice. Okay, I get it... but show me how to do it the right way! He did, and here is what I learned!

Oscar begins by measuring 6 oz red wine. Seriously, we each got a glass of either beer or wine. I started with the La Fin Du Monde from Canada. Elke brought over Justin Isosceles from Paso. Double yum.

To start the rice, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup white rice (enriched white rice by Riceland, prefered by Oscar). Add rice to hot skillet and stir to coat in oil.
Let sit and brown about 10 minutes - don't walk away, drink your wine or beer near the stove. Mince or press one garlic clove directly into the rice and 1/4 cup of chopped yellow onion. Oscar said white onion may overpower the dish, he prefers yellow. Let this simmer until onion caramelizes and is very frangrant.
Measure 4 oz tomato sauce, one heaping tablespoon of Knorr Chicken flavor Bouillon, and another 4 oz water. Add to rice.
Add another 3 and 1/2 cups water. (Mandy's note, why not add low sodium chicken stock here?) semi cover (leaving a small gap for steam) and keep on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Don't stir - according to Oscar it may turn into oatmeal. Drop the temp down to low and add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro on top, put lid back on to semi-covered and let cook for another 10 minutes. Stoves are different, heats differ, you must continuously check texture of rice along the way. If rice still has bite, add another 1/2 cup and let simmer.

Oscar has a lot of his "times" in his head. after one beer he flips a steak... but everyone drinks at different speeds, so we aren't going to go there with this rice.
Rice is ready when liquid has evaporated and rice is cooked through.

Serve this along side mexican fair like Oscar's "almost famous fajitas" or tamales, like I did.

My little girl Madeline leaning up against Oscar's hand as he scratches her ears.

Following the beer, then the Justin - I opened this 2006 B.R. Cohn Cab.
Jim got off work and when he arrived we had just started our port tasting.
Fonseca, Trentadue, Geyser Peak, Justin and Imagery.

This was such a fun evening with friends, good food and great drinks.

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