Monday, August 30, 2010

Meatless Monday: Arroz al Horno•Oven Baked Rice

I've been rattling my brain trying to think of a nutritious vegetarian meal with a Spanish or Cuban flair. I was walking through the rice and pasta isle of the supermarket inspecting my options when I came across Arroz Valencia otherwise known as Pearl Rice. My grandmother always used Valencia rice to make arroz con pollo. Of course I wasn't going to make anything with chicken for Meatless Mondays and eliminating the chicken from the recipe would leave something to be desired, so I did some internet research.  There is a dish called Arroz al Horno which is very popular in Valencia, Spain. It calls for pork and blood sausage, but also chickpeas. Aha...chickpeas would provide the protein we're lacking in a plain rice dish and I thought according to the other ingredients involved that we wouldn't miss the lack of pork and sausage. I was right! Even my husband liked it. So here is my variation of the original recipe. (I made a small portion since I was experimenting).

3 large cloves of garlic, whole (I took the skins off, but you can leave them on if you'd like)
1 medium sized tomato, sliced or quartered
3/4 cups pearl rice
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or 2 1/2 cups water and vegetable bouillon)
1 medium potato, sliced
7 oz cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)
a dash of Bijol for coloring (annatto powder)
olive oil
petit pois for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350F

Coat an oven proof pan with olive oil and lightly fry your garlic. Add the rice and stir it around a bit to coat it in the oil. Add your tomatoes. Add your broth (or water an bouillon) and Bijol. Add the pre-cooked chickpeas and salt to taste. Let that simmer for a few mintues until it comes to a boil at which point you can turn off the burner. In the meantime, in a separate pan coated with olive oil, lightly fry your potatoes. Transfer them to the rice pan by laying them on top of the rice. Carefully place your oven proof pan in the oven. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes until golden brown on top. Sprinkle with a handful of petit pois.


  1. It looks wonderful! Actually the rice you found is also used to make risotto, which in Italy is made in many vegetarian and seafood and meat variations. And it's also the ideal rice to make arroz con leche (rice pudding), since it tends to be starchier that the long grain rice we most commonly use. I'm gonna make some of this rice tomorrow, but to be a real stinker, I'm gonna make it with some pork chunks and maybe even some jamón ahumado (smoked ham) or chorizo... YUM! See what you have done? You have awaken the arroz amarillo beast in me! LOL XOXOXOXOXOX

  2. Pedro, seems like if you search hard enough you find what you're looking for. I have been here 4 years and hadn't spotted this rice until Sunday, now I'll be making more recipes. I'm sure the beast in you will enjoy it with the meat! LOL

  3. I've never made arroz al horno but know it well, I'll make it in winter.

    I want to do it with pork ribs, salted pork, and spanish chorizo (spanish chorizo I've had isn't that great maybe I'll use Keilbasa or Louisiana hotlinks) and I'll use the leftover liquid/ stock from a "cocido" to cook the rice, also add "Pimenton Dulce" to the sofrito and "tomate frito" you'll see it sometime :)

    your post gave me courage to attempt it someday :)

  4. I'm looking forward to your version of it Nathan.

  5. This looks sooooo good! I also look forward to Nathans version! I wonder, though, if this could be made in the crockpot? It would be a nice dish anytime, but I know using the oven in the summer is one of my least favorite things to do. A crockpot would remedy the hot kitchen!

  6. I'm not sure it would work in a crock pot... maybe just on the stove top? Otherwise, wait 'til the weather cools down. :-)

  7. @Sharline:
    no crock pot please I think texture might be off this is called "Arroz al Horno" literally "Rice Oven Style" if you want to avoid using the oven, just make it a stove top dish of "Arroz Amarillo Con Garbanzo" (yellow rice and chickpeas) just adjust the technique, sautee your garlic cloves in oil, then the tomato, seal your rice the oil, (just toss it slightly), add your chickpeas, water or broth, bijol, salt to taste, bring to a rolling boil, put the fried potatoes over it and cover for 25 minutes on low heat.

    Easy :D I mean that's how I would adjust it to stove top. If you want pork or sausage brown some sausage or pork prior to adding the garlic, etc. and go onward with your recipe.

    seriously though if you have "Pimenton" (sweet smoked Spanish paprika) use it!!!

    If u must use crock pot, it might work check out this article i found on google, just remember short-grain rice has to be washed tons of times and uses less water than regular long grain (unless ur cooking it in a paella dish using the uncovered method spanish ppl. tend to use)