Spanish Rice

Hispanic ingredients abound at supermarkets and specialty groceries all over the country. It’s a trend I embrace, making chorizo and other wonderful ingredients available to all.

My recipe for Spanish Rice highlights chorizo’s fiery, garlicky flavor in a spicy side dish that starts with a package of yellow rice mix. The combination of colorful diced bell peppers, fresh garlic and canned Mexican recipe stewed tomatoes, make this a dish worthy of center stage, and it can be served as a one-skillet entrée. But, my favorite way to serve this special Spanish Rice is as the base for Paella – topping the rice with grilled lobster tails or jumbo shrimp.

Chorizo comes in two varieties, a raw version that is similar to American bulk breakfast sausage or Italian sausage, and a smoked version which is similar to pepperoni. Use the raw version here, and if you can’t find chorizo in your area, feel free to substitute hot or sweet Italian sausage.

  • 1 pound chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can Mexican stewed tomatoes (seasoned with jalapeno, garlic and cumin)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 16-ounce package saffron yellow rice mix
Brown chorizo in a large skillet, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly cooked. Drain and set aside. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and add olive oil. Heat over medium-high. Add diced bell peppers and garlic and sauté until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Return chorizo to skillet and add tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, add rice mix and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 8 side dish servings.