You know, I take the sport of opinion forming very seriously. I just feel like if you’re going to take the time to take a stand on something, you might as well go strong or go home.
A. gives me a hard time about it. He says that if I decide not to like something, best lock up the women and children because it’s on like Donkey Kong.
Take potato salad, for instance. I really don’t like it. I really, really don’t like. It’s difficult for me to even sit at a table where other people are eating it.
I can’t help it. I just feel very strongly about some stuff.
The flip side of that is what A. eye-rollingly refers to as my Obsession List. The stuff that I’ve decided to passionately and stalkerishly pursue with 173% of my energy and attention.
I’m currently rocking an Obsession List that’s several pages long. About a third of the way down page 2, you’ll find rice.
I don’t know what it is but I just can’t get enough of the stuff. I fry it, I boil it. I season it and I bake it. I’m -wait for it- obsessed with it.
At the top of page 3? Bay leaves. You really just need to try them in this rice.
But let’s back up.
First we’re going to need to chop up some celery, carrots and red onion. Then we’re going to fry the uncooked rice – it’s a step worth taking. Frying the raw grains for just a few minutes really ‘opens’ them up. The flavors of the seasonings that we’re going to add get down deep and will make you very happy. Trust.
So now we’re ready for the bay leaves.
And saffron! Just a pinch of threads will do. If you prefer, you can use azafrán instead.
Seasonings, rice, and vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce, cover and wait for it. Things will be looking, and smelling, extremely good extremely soon.
I adapted this recipe from one that I read in this cookbook. It’s on the list.
So when I was reading it in bed the other night, under the covers, my Maglite failing after hours of pouring over the pages, I mistakenly read the title as ‘Tumbleweed Rice’ instead of Arroz Tumbado, which means ‘thrown together rice’. I strongly suggest that you throw some of this rice together today. You’ll be obsessed.
adapted from Santa Fe School Of Cooking: Flavors Of The Southwest
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 c. white rice
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. carrot, peeled, diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
3 1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. saffron
1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grains are opaque. Stir in the carrots, celery, onion and remaining oil. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the water, lime juice, saffron and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Finished rice will be fluffy and fragrant.
Give the rice a stir before serving as the vegetables may have settled out. Remove the bay leaves, top with cilantro and serve immediately.
YIELD: approximately 6 servings