Around here the rice du jour is brown. It’s tasty, yet slightly nutty flavour is good enough and it’s very healthy. But let’s be totally honest, some days you don’t want good enough. Some days you want super, over- the-top, lick your ten fingers never mind the company, or colonic benefits good.
On those days we make Spanish Rice or as I like to call it happy rice. Any meal with this as a side dish is sure to involve gargantuan portions and joyful noise. From back yard barbecues, to beach limes, Sunday lunches and even weddings, you are looking at the rice that gets invited to all the happy occasions.
I don’t know that there is anything Spanish about this rice other than the fact that it looks like Paella. Unlike Paella which gets its intense yellow colour from expensive saffron, this popular rice dish is coloured with turmeric and is a heck of a lot easier to throw together. In fact with just a few meat and or seafood additions you can have yourself a terrific one-pot meal.
Spanish Rice Recipe
1 ½ cups cooked long grain parboiled rice
¾ tsp turmeric
2 tbsps vegetable oil
¼ cup bacon, diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 red and 1 green sweet pepper, diced
1 can whole corn
½ cup olives
¼ cup raisins
½ cup chives, chopped
Wash rice until water runs clear and is no longer cloudy. Washing your rice will ensure that your grains are not sticky. Add the rice to the pot with 3 cups of water and ¾ tsp of turmeric and salt.(to your taste) Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes at a rolling boil then simmer over low heat until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Try not to lift the lid while cooking.
Add oil to another large pot and cook the bacon. Add carrots and cook until tender but still a bit crunchy. Add sweet peppers, corn, olives and raisins. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked rice to the vegetables. Add the chives to the rice while it is still warm and mix thoroughly.