Try Our Zesty Side Dish, Spanish Rice



Spanish Rice is a very popular side dish here in Bermuda. It is very colorful and most local recipes tend to call for similar ingredients. Like all recipes they are modified to each chef's likes. This dish isn't as popular as traditional peas n rice but equally found on as many Christmas dinner, picnics or wedding reception menus. This dish can be made mild, sweet or spicy, all depends on how you like to eat it.  Now in Bermuda you can make this dish with or without meat.  I like it either way.  Growing up my mom used to add bacon bits - yumm!  More traditionally Bermudians added chorizo. Chorizo would give a very spicy kick to the rice.  But it all goes down delicious.

One of the good things of eating something like Spanish rice is that it is loaded down with lots of nutrition that is beneficial to your body.  The base of the dish is tomato.  I grow my own tomatoes at home in my garden.  This saves me cost and I just love the fact that I'm using garden to table vegetables.  Tomatoes reduce heart disease, lowers cholesterol, its anti-inflammatory, improves bones and the rich source of lycopene makes it a natural cancer fighter.  For us women its good to know that this wonderful loaded vegetable promotes healthy glowing skin because it is high in beta carotene, boosts our immunity, improves vision, very low in calories,  and purifies our blood!  What more could we ask for?

My favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen is thyme.  It adds the right flavor to any dish, in my opinion.  This is another ingredient I grow at home.  I find that growing things in pots is so easy to do and maintain.  Its a great option if you live in an apartment or a place with a small back yard.  If you want to obtain that fresh ingredient flavor in your meals then try growing them at home... you won't regret that you did.  But thyme  is another great herb for our bodies.  For fellow suffers of high blood pressure thyme is an excellent ingredient to help lower that pressure.  It also boots your immune system which is always beneficial.  If you are into DIY project if you add this to a little essential oil this can help get rid of household mold.   Living in an island like Bermuda mold is an ever constant problem.

Now Spanish rice wouldn't be complete without adding Bermuda onions into that recipe.  Bermuda onions are know for their sweet taste.  At one point in our history we exported these lovely sweet bulbs to the US - they were in such high demand.   Again this is another great ingredient because it helps to boost your immunity.  And ladies, I know that if you eat this raw it can be offensive but it does give us glowing skin, so remember that next time you may want to pass on eating that onion!  Did you know that it prevents tooth decay and other oral infections!  Another good thing to know is that onions regulate blood sugar levels for those prone to diabetes.  

Ingredients for Spanish Rice:

  • Chorizo (optional)
  • Bacon (optional)
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • Thyme
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 small can of Tomato Paste

Method:

  1. First you must cut up the chorizo, bacon, green pepper, onion, red pepper and garlic into cubes.
  2.  Next in a sperate frying pan sauté the chorizo and bacon.  No need to add any oil if you are using a non stick pan.  The bacon will produce enough grease to make sautéing a breeze.  Remove the sautéed meat from the pan and rest in a separate bowl. Next, sauté your green, red peppers and onions until translucent, without removing the remnants of oil from the meat. You can include your garlic and raw rice also as this point.  Toast the rice for a few seconds.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a separate pot add the tin of tomato paste with salt n pepper, thyme.  Set you pot to medium heat.  Slowly stir the paste. As you are stirring add the broth.  Once the mixture has reached a consistency of running off the back of your spoon turn off the heat.
  4. Return to the pot with the rice and reheat on high.  Add the liquid mixture to the rice mixture.  Stir the blend over high heat then reduce to low.  Cover and leave for 20 mins.  Do not stir the rice while it is cooking.
  5. After 20 minutes tip the pot to ensure all the liquid has been absorbed.  If not leave until this has been accomplished.   You will notice that the ingredients will tend to collect on top.  Now you can stir the rice.   Now its ready to serve.

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