Spanish Rice and Tomatillo Sauce is a very pretty dish, made special by the tomatillo sauce and the roasted red sweet pepper, is well worth the effort to prepare.
4 red peppers, roasted
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
5 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup dry red wine
1-1/3 cup finely diced green bell peppers
1 cup canned tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro or Italian parsley sprigs (optional)
To prepare the peppers for stuffing, start by roasting them in the oven on flat pans until the skins have blackened. Rotate the peppers frequently. They can be moved from the top shelf to bottom depending on how quickly each side is charring. Alternatively, you can broil the peppers on top of the stove right over an open flame or in a wood burning fireplace. They will need to be cooked until the skins have completely blackened.
Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with a plate, and let them steam for at least 15 minutes to soften the flesh and make the peels easier to remove. Slit the side of each pepper open and take the seeds out, being careful that the peppers do not fall apart. Leave the stem on and set aside. The peppers are now ready for stuffing.
Soak the rice in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes, then drain. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and 2 bay leaves to the water, stir, cover, and cook at a slow boil for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender. Strain and remove the bay leaves. This makes 1-1/2 cups.
Braise the onion, garlic, and oregano in the red wine. When the onions have softened a bit, add the green pepper. When the pepper is almost completely cooked, add the tomato puree. Let stew for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the cumin and rice when the vegetables are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want it spicier, add some cayenne pepper.
To assemble, use approximately 3/4 cup filling per pepper. Make a bed of tomatillo sauce and put the peppers on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or microwave the filled peppers until they are hot. Garnish with the fresh sprigs of cilantro or Italian parsley.
Recipe makes 4 servings.
Serving size: 1 pepper, 1-3/4 cup filling and 1-1/2 cup sauce
Calories: 217; Total Fat: 1.7g; Saturated Fat: 0.3g; Cholesterol: 0mg
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