Thursday, November 20, 2008

SOUTH OF THE BORDER.......Spanish Rice

The only thing I can remember Bigmother ( my grandmother) using cumin in was the homemade tamales she used to make or in chili, but I love the taste of it sprinkled on Corn on the cob, It's actually a member of the parsley family and one of the main ingredients in Chili powder.

Superstition has it that cumin will keep chickens and lovers from wandering and was often carried by both bride and groom throughout the wedding ceremony to insure a happy life. It's great for the digestion and also a source for iron.

Native to the middle East, cumin is a familiar taste in Tex-Mex dishes and one of my favorites is Spanish rice. This is my version of that dish.


1-2 tablespoons. butter

1 small onion, very fine dice

1 green pepper, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 tablespoon Paprika ( I use the sweet Hungarian)

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons Cumin

1 cup long grain rice, dry

1 cup chicken broth, boiling hot

1 cup crushed tomatoes ( I use fresh when ever I can)

salt and pepper to taste ( if you use salted butter and canned tomatoes, there is enough salt in them)

saute` onion, garlic, pepper, cumin and paprika in butter just until the onions turn translucent.

Add rice and saute`, lightly, just until rice is coated with butter, DO NOT BROWN.

Add boiling broth and return to a boil.

Add tomatoes and adjust seasonings

Put all in a deep baking dish and cover tightly. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 18-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is dry and fluffy. I like mine a little wetter than most people and will sometimes add a little tomato juice to it after it bakes if it's too dry.)

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