AND I got to spend lots of time snuggling this little piece of sunshine (my niece), who we all lovingly call Baby. Isn’t she the cutest?
Saturday, I found myself with the first opportunity I’ve had to shoot in natural light since I started work at the end of September. It was glorious! I felt like a new lady, since I leave for work when the sun is rising and drive home just as the sun is setting, leaving me zero minutes for natural light-photography.
Enough about pictures.
This Spanish rice had a really interesting, complex flavor, coaxed out of remarkably few ingredients. The big keys were chorizo and smoked paprika. If you’ve never tried smoked paprika, I really recommend it. It’s somewhat strong, and, as the title implies, is smoky. But good smoky. If you’re nervous, start small. I felt like this amount gave the rice just the right hint of smoky flavor without smothering the chorizo or rice flavors.
Chorizo comes in bulk and hard/cured varieties. The cured type is much more common in Europe or in really, really nice grocery stores. Which is why I used the bulk kind. You may use whichever you wish. If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the chorizo, you might want to give these babiesa try.
The rice was delicious on it’s own as a main dish, served almost risotto-style and paired with salad, but you could certainly use it as a side dish. For a meatless version, omit the chorizo, add 1 can of your favorite black or red beans and increase the smoked paprika a bit.
- 1/2–3/4lb chorizo
- 1–2tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- scant 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1c arborio or short-grain rice (you can use long-grain if you can’t find short)
- 2 roasted red bell peppers, diced
- 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
- 2c water
- salt and pepper
- Brown chorizo. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent and tender. Add garlic and smoked paprika and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add rice and stir to coat. red peppers, tomatoes and juices, and water. Cover the saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer.
- Stirring occasionally, cook rice mixture 15-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. If liquid is absorbed before rice is tender, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking till done.