Spanish or Italian Rice

6 Oct

Once a year, DH heads to Long Island to go ocean fishing with a client. I like this for two reasons: first, DH really likes his client and they have a great time together, so there are many smiles when he comes back home. And second, the person who really hits the jackpot from these trips is me, because I end up with a freezer full of rockfish.

These, my friends, are some gorgeous pieces of fish. They come home in a cooler as massive sides, unlike the wafer-thin filets I can buy at the market. I cut them into steaks (and they really are–a good two or three inches thick), wrap them individually, bag them, and store them in their portions in my freezer, ready to be pulled out for whatever deliciousness I have in mind that night. I usually make fish tacos because everyone will eat them, but last night, I felt like Italian.

Which leads me to today’s recipe for rice. I envisioned a yummy tomato-and-garlic basted fish over rice last night, but plain old white rice wasn’t going to cut it, and something out of a box wasn’t in the cards either. I wanted that same yummy tomato-ness in my starch, and put my grade school math to the test.

Flavoring rice is pretty simple. Two cups of liquid to one cup of rice (except water or broth–if you’re only using those, subtract a quarter cup of liquid). That holds true for tomato sauce, the juice in cans of tomatoes, or any other liquid that goes into the pot. Two to one.

I did the measurements last night so you can skip it, and honestly, I’d have eaten a big bowl of this on its own. My kids gobbled it up (boo-ya!). DH ate without comment, which is a score unto itself. And it was delicious with my rockfish, which we’ll talk about next week.

Onward. Ditch your box, gang. Try this. Trust me. You need:

1 tbsp olive oil

8 oz (1 cup) chicken or vegetable broth

One 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup diced onion

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 cups of white rice

In a large flat pan (I used my Every Day pan by Calphalon) or stockpot, stir together all of the ingredients. Turn your stove to medium (start with everything cold and heat it up together–you’ll get fluffier rice), bring it to a boil, give it a good stir, cover it, and lower the heat to low.

Cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, until the liquid is almost absorbed. Take the lid off for the last few minutes of cooking. When you don’t see any excess liquid in the pot. turn the burner off and let it all sit for a few minutes.

(To make this more Spanish, add a little saffron, cumin, and/or chili powder to the mix)

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