Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Spanish Rice

We love rice in our house... and pasta... and potatoes.  Basically anything starchy and bad for you.  But what fun is life if you don't eat what you love?  All in moderation, of course!!

This simple Spanish rice recipe came from SimplyRecipes so so many years ago.  I think I have been using it for at least 3-4 years now.  It's easy and it never fails to produce the best rice.  You can double it for a huge crowd.  The original recipe claims that it serves 4 to 6 but unless they are eating a gigantic portion, there is no way.  I think it serves 8-10 and that is still a really good size portion.  

Spanish Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Cups Medium or Long Grain Rice (DO NOT USE MINUTE RICE!)
  • 3 Cups* Chicken, Turkey or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Can Rotel Tomatoes 
  • Pinch Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
*Check the instructions on your rice package for the proportions of rice to liquid.  Some recipes call for 1:1 ratio, some 1.5:1 or 2:1.  Use the amount of liquid called for in two cups of rice from your package. 

In a large skillet, add olive oil and rice over medium/high heat.  Toast rice slightly, being careful not to burn.  Just bring out the color in the rice.  Add onion and garlic.  Cooke, stirring frequently, until onions are softened.

In a separate sauce pan, bring stock to simmer.  Add tomato paste, Rotel, oregano and salt.   Once heated and onions are soft, add broth to rice.  Bring to a simmer.  Lower heat, cover and cook 15-25 minutes (look at your package of rice for cooking time).  Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Turns out moist and full of flavor every time.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mushroom Pot Pie

This is absolutely one of those dishes that you eat with your eyes first.  It was so beautiful.  It didn't stop me from tearing right into it.  Someone in the room asked if we didn't need to let it rest first.  No way that was happening.  It was begging to be eaten!  I am so thankful to live in the internet age where we can share recipes with each other.  And thank goodness so many people love to blog about food!  The original recipe was for individual pot pies, which could be easily done by cutting the puff pastry.  We didn't have any small bowls that would work so we made a 9x13 version. 

Mushroom Pot Pie
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.   (We used some rosemary flavored, but plain EVOO will be just fine!)
  • 2 pounds of chopped mushrooms. (I used a combination of white and baby bells. I also chopped them very small to appease the non-mushroom loving friends.)
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine (again for the non-onion loving friends)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup broth (I used chicken, but to make it vegetarian, just substitute vegetarian broth or stock)
  • 1 16 ounce bag of frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (could definitely add more if you love garlic)
  • 1 package of puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet heat olive oil.  Add chopped vegetables and cook until tender.  When mushrooms start to release their juices, add salt to move the process along.  Cook until juices start to evaporate.  Add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes.  Add broth and peas.  Bring to a boil.  

Spray 9 x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Add vegetables to the pan.  Cover with pastry.  I used the two sheets that came in one package of puff pastry. They overlapped a bit.  Press to seal around the edges of the glass dish as best you can. Brush egg all over the pastry.  I did not vent mine, but I probably should have.  It was not too watery but I think vents to allow the steam to escape would have helped the crust underneath get more crispy.  It turned out just fine anyway! 

Place the dish on a large baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. 

Recipe adapted from 12 Tomatoes.  They have some really amazing recipes!!