Rice baked in a sauce make of fresh vegetables and herbs comes together quickly then bakes for an hour giving you a delicious, hands’ off side dish.
If you’d have asked me a few weeks week ago if I liked Spanish rice, I would have given you a fervent “Nuh-uh!” When I was growing up, my mom would occasionally make roasted green pepper stuffed with Spanish rice and I loathed green peppers so, in my mind, the part that made it “Spanish” was that green pepper.
Then I saw the recipe for Baked Spanish Rice on page 81 of the Thug Kitchen cookbook and it piqued my interest. After doing a bit of Google Fu, I quickly discovered that the baked green peppers is just one of the many ways you can serve the red hued, tomato imbued rice dish.
One of the things I love about the Thug Kitchen recipe is that it uses primarily fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned. The original recipe calls for onion and brown rice, neither of which Mr. O cares for. Well, “doesn’t care for” is a huge understatement for the onions. I mean, I do refer to him as Mr. Onion-hater for a reason. So instead of the onion, I used lots of garlic.
I love garlic. A lot. We use a lot of garlic in our kitchen. I went to Trader Joe’s for the 2nd time in my life and ended up getting a jar of garlic paste for $2 and just want to eat it by the spoonful. This doesn’t have garlic paste in it. I just love garlic and am excited about the jar of golden treasure in my fridge right now. 🙂
I also added some chopped tomato in at the end. Now, I did use frozen corn and peas but I really don’t think this dish suffered at all. I also used low-sodium chicken broth instead of vegetable broth which, in my opinion, made big different. I just not a fan of vegetable broth but it’s just personal preference.
This made a huge pan of rice so there were lots of leftovers that I got to eat for lunch during this past week. The next time I make this, I plan to make it a little spicier by adding a chipotle to the tomato purée and maybe a minced jalapeño. I’m even considering making this on the stove top then, ala my mom, baking it in halved peppers with some cheese.
I’ll just use red, orange or yellow. 🙂
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 tomatoes, chopped, divided
- 2 Tbsp jarred, minced garlic
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined and minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 c. long-grain rice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 c frozen peas, thawed
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 c chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray and set aside,
- In a blender (or food processor), add 2 of the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, and tomato paste. Blend on high until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Pour into a medium saucepan.
- Add the chicken broth to the tomato sauce in the saucepan and stir. Heat over medium heat until it begins to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the rice to the baking dish and shake gently back and forth a few times. Drizzle olive oil over the rice and sprinkle with salt. Stir to coat well.
- Once the tomato-broth mixture begins to simmer gently, pour over the rice in the baking dish and stir to mix well. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake, undisturbed, for 1 hour. Resist the urge to check on it. Keep it covered!
- After 1 hour, remove it from the oven and uncover. Fluff with a fork and fold in the remaining tomato, corn, peas, lime juice and cilantro.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.