There is something so festive about Spanish rice that it turns the most ordinary meal of beans and rice into an instant fiesta or party.
This recipe comes comes via the recipe site SImply Recipes, which is my ‘go to’ source for Tex-Mex food. The secret to a good Spanish rice is to saute the rice in olive oil until golden brown. Pureed tomato or tomato paste adds color but I also add paprika and some tumeric, neither which are traditional, but give the rice an added depth of color and flavour. Traditionally, chicken stock is used, but for this vegetarian version, I use a good vegetable stock (a carrot-based stock works really well) and I’m generous with the olive oil because that gives the rice a slight stickiness without causing the grains to disintegrate or clump together.
Spanish rice recipe
Adapted from Elise Bauer’s mother’s recipe at Simply Recipes.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (you can use up to ¼ cup)
- 1 onion chopped, chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups of medium or long grain rice
- 3 cups of vegetable stock (check rice packet instructions for amount of liquid to rice and adjust stock accordingly)
- 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste, or 1 cup of strained diced cooked or fresh tomatoes strained. (If I have any left-over tomato pasta sauce, I usually throw that in)
- 1 tablespoon of finely-chopped jalapeno peppers, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika (or hot paprika if you like it spicy)
- ¼ teaspoon tumeric
- Fresh coriander chopped to garnish
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy-based saucepan, heat olive oil and add rice and saute until rice begins to brown.
- Add onion, garlic and chilli (if using) and cook onion and rice, stirring frequently until onion softens. Add spices, saute until rice is coated and spices are fragrant, then add tomato paste or strained tomato and saute for another minute or so until rice is coated with tomato.
- Add stock, bring to the boil, put on lid and simmer very softly for about 15–25 minutes until stock has evaporated and rice is cooked. Turn off heat and leave covered for about 5–10 minutes.
- Take off lid, fluff up rice and garnish with chopped coriander to serve.