Monday, March 16, 2009

Bayou-Style Mixed Rice

I love mixed rices. Every culture has them, from Chinese fried rice, Japanese mazu-gohan, Italian risotto, to Cajun dirty rice. This mixed rice recipe hails from the bayou, although it uses convenience items and is an easy weeknight supper, particularly if you have a rice cooker. I have been making this for almost 20 years and still love the luscious smells, medley of colors, and blending of flavors in this dish. This is comfort food at its best, particularly with some dashes of Frank's hot sauce and a spoonful of fresh diced tomatoes.

This recipe originally came from the cookbook, The New Basics, the 1990s bible for cooking. It was one of the early additions to what has become my sizable cookbook collection. I have cookbooks upstairs, downstairs, in cabinets, and even in my bedroom closet. I suppose it's my version of stuffed animals, which also inhabit our house in large numbers, courtesy of my daughter Christina.

6 slices bacon (turkey bacon okay), diced
8 oz. hot or sweet Italian sausage or ground pork (if in casings, remove casings)
3 /4 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup each green and red pepper
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper (or a dash if using hot sausage)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 cup Uncle Ben's rice
2 cups chicken broth
Chopped parsley or chopped chives
Diced fresh tomatoes with salt

In a large skillet, saute bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove onto paper towels.

Add pork and saute until cooked. Remove pork onto paper towels and take out most of the oil, leaving a little for the vegetables.

Add onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes over low heat. Then add cayenne (optional), salt and pepper, cumin, and oregano. Cook additional 3 minutes.

Stir in rice and cook another 5 minutes.

If you're using a rice cooker, transfer mix to the rice cooker and add stock and meat. Turn on the rice cooker and let it go through its standard cook time.

If you're using a pot, transfer mix to pot and add stock and meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is done.

While rice is cooking, dice a couple fresh tomatoes and salt them.

When rice is ready, add a few chopped chives or chopped parsley for color. Serve with tomatoes and Frank's hot sauce.

1 comment:

Aggie said...

This rice looks delicious! I like mixed rices too...and love that you can pull something so delicious together easily!