The other day I wrote about the simple brilliance that is a pan of enchiladas. And since we’re perpetually on a budget, I served that dish on a mound of spicy rice.
I hesitate to call it Spanish rice, because that’s an actual thing and this is another classic Popcorn dump-and-go concoction.
It starts with rice, prepared more or less according to package directions. The divergence happens in that you don’t want to let the rice cook all the way. Instead, pull it up as soon as the top looks dry.
At that point, dump the rice into a skillet over medium-low heat. On this day, I’d just cooked the enchilada filling in this skillet, and I added the rice right in there with the leftover oil and seasonings.
The picture doesn’t really tell the story. But if you timed it right, the rice will look a little shiny. If it’s too dry, take it up earlier next time. If there’s standing water, wait a minute longer.
In go the seasonings next.
I’m guessing about a quarter cup each of the salsa and the enchilada sauce I used in the main dish. Salt, black pepper, oregano, and cilantro to taste. (Maybe a teaspoon each, to start?) Three or four shakes of the Tabasco.
I always go easy at first, because you can always add more seasoning. But if you overdo it, well, it’ll take you 20 minutes to cook up more rice to even it out.
Mix, taste, and re-season, cutting off the burner as soon as your rice mixture starts to get dry. I ended up adding probably another quarter cup of salsa, and some more oregano.
Optional: I didn’t think of it at the time, but I totally could have used some of this frozen bell pepper and onion blend. (Thaw in the skillet before dumping in the rice.)
So yeah, nothing to it, right?
We eat enormous amounts of rice around here. There’s not much better for stretching expensive ingredients like meat and fresh veggies. Seasoned like this, I’ve been known to eat it as its own meal!