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It's worth the extra effort to make this rice dish. photo by Jessie Rouleau.

February 20, 2014
Rice is a popular side choice. This week I prepared a south of the border style rice that paired nicely with chicken and black bean enchiladas. The chopping and dicing is a bit of work in this vegetable studded rice, but so worth it. Really.

South of the Border Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced celery

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1 cup diced carrot

6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seed

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

cayenne pepper to taste

3 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups rice

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium to high heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, tomato paste, cumin seed, paprika and cayenne and cook for a few more minutes. Add chicken stock and raise heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in rice, cover then lower to a simmer and cook (covered) for 23 minutes, or so.

Remove pot from stove but don't peak under lid. Let pot rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. The longer you wait to fluff the rice the less likely it will be wet or sticky. Toss in the fresh parsley just before serving.

If you don't have cumin or paprika in your pantry substitute with some chili powder or taco seasoning.

Choose this flavor packed rice to accompany your dinner choice tonight.

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