Monday, March 17, 2008

Spice It Up!

I received a nice present of spices from Penzeys Spices for Christmas. Smoked paprika sounded interesting, but I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it. So, it sat in my cupboard for a few months.

I was making Spanish rice one evening for dinner. Looking through my spices for something to add flavor, but not heat, I spotted the smoked paprika. Perfect! It added a nice smokiness along with a good depth of flavor.

I've added it to hummus and used it in a spice rub for chicken. I love it!

Then I remembered chipotle peppers! These aren't anything new, I have used them before in restaurants, I just never thought about using them at home. The next time I made Spanish rice, I chopped up one chipotle pepper, removing most of the seeds, also adding some of the adobo sauce. This added a nice touch of spice with the smoky flavor.

Since we have chipotles in the fridge now, my husband has been putting them on everything, including his turkey sandwiches. He likes it spicy!

Smokin' Spanish Rice

2 T olive oil
1 small onion
1 1/2 c uncooked rice
1 t oregano
1 t smoked paprika or 1 chipotle pepper with 1 T adobo sauce
1 - 10 3/4 oz can of tomato purée
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 t salt

Heat a sauce pan over medium heat, add oil and onion and cook until transparent. Add rice, oregano, and paprika or chipotle and cook until rice starts to brown. Now add tomato purée, stock and salt. Bring to a boil, give it a good stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Cover, turn off heat and let rest on hot burner until done.

*If you don't have stock, water will work as well.

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