Cooking. We sometimes used to look at it as a hassle. A drag. 'Dave, what should I make tonight?' 'Kimmy, anything you choose to make will be wonderful.' 'Yeh, but...I'm out of ideas, help me!'. Did I take it for granted? Yes, in some ways. I always, always appreciated and enjoyed every meal that Kim lovingly created for our family.
And so. I do not complain about cooking. And the lack of time to cook. And worrying about running out of ideas. Being in Kimmy's kitchen is a one of the highlights of my day. Especially when the bambini or their friends say how good it is...or even better...'It's just like Mama's!' It is comforting cooking and re-creating all of her favorite recipes. The little ones always like to help. Especially Tonio.
I've been expanding my repertiore over the last year, expanding into Mexican food. Albondigas (I don't have any mint leaves, though, Angie), enchiladas, Janene's Rotel shredded chicken burritos, beans, sopa de fideo (Andrea's recipe) and, of course, Kimmy's tortilla soup. I'm getting a pretty good handle on it and since I could eat Italian and Mexican every day, this is probably as broad as my cooking horizon will get.
Until yesterday. Rice. I've never tried to make Spanish rice and had heard how tricky a process it is. Rice is a challenge as it is. Sometimes it comes out sticky, chewy or crunchy. Spanish rice begins with browning the rice. Not singeing it, browning. Then you get to the boiling process. I knew Mario had this art form down, and Andrea shared his secrets with me:
1 tablespoon of butter (I added a dollop of olive oil - it prevents the butter from burning!)
2 cups of rice
3 1/2 cups of water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tablespoon of Caldo de Pollo (powdered chicken bouillon)
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
Melt butter, with dollop of olive oil, in nice pot
Brown the 2 cups of rice in the butter/olive oil, stirring occasionally.
Once it is golden brown, add in the 3 1/2 cups of water, bouillon cube, Caldo de Pollo and the tomato sauce and bring to a rapid boil. Allow it to get really boiling and then reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes before stirring/fluffing.
Andrea, Lexy and Breanna all told me it was great! (I'm sure not anywhere near as good as Mario's though!) I served it with beans and Rotel chicken (recipes somewhere back in blog history) and the kids ate it up! Bella tried to have some too, but ended up with Iam's. Sorry Bella.
I was so excited to add this recipe to 'things I can cook' and I really like rice, so wanted to share it with you!