Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spanish Rice Bake







This one takes a little work, but the taste is amazing!


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoons cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain fat and transfer beef to a large pot over medium low heat.  Stir in the onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, water, rice, chili sauce, salt, brown sugar, cumin, Worcestershire sauce and ground black pepper.  (The temp is very important here. Too high and it burns the bottom a bit, too low and the rice comes out crunchy. A smidgen just under medium seems to work well.)
  3. Let this simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Press down firmly and sprinkle the top with shredded Cheddar. 
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Dust top with Cilantro. 
*A word about Chili Sauce. The taste on Chili Sauces varies greatly from one brand to another. The more expensive ones are a bit more flavorful but they tend to be spicier as well. The Heinz brand I'm using here isn't akin to much more than a mildly flavored ketchup, but it's cheap and it does the job...but if you like your food a bit more spicy, go for one of the fancier (expensive) brands.    

And now for some completely unnecessary pictures.


You can chop up the veggies and toss them in the pot while the meat is browning. 


(Oooh, Pretty!) 


"We wanna go in the pot too!"


It's a FIESTA!


Topped with cheese and ready to go in the oven. You can stick it in the fridge this way and cook it whenever you want! (Well...within a day or two.) 


                                            The finished dish...and it tastes as good as it looks!


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