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)
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.