Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guest Post: Dirty Rice by Caroline Paras

As you can probably guess, frazgo isn't doing the cooking right now. I'm stepping in to share one of my recipes from my foodie blog. My blog is dedicated to my mom and the recipes she passed along -- and a few of my own that I've whipped up over the years. Most of my cooking comes from what I know, using Asian vegetables and rice. I've also branched out a bit and cook up foods that I enjoy, For this shared recipe, I thought I would combine rice with a bit of Cajun-flavoring and make Dirty Rice.

I like to think of Dirty Rice as steamed rice stir-fry. Like stir-fry, you combine a bunch of ingredients with rice and it becomes a meal. This dish gets its name from the look of white rice that is used that then gets its "dirty" color from being cooked with minced chicken livers. I know, no one eats chicken livers anymore. But, use the chicken livers, the ingredient adds that extra kick to make the recipe really good. Because of the depth of flavor, I serve Dirty Rice as both a main dish and/or as a side dish. I use a combination of onions, celery and bell peppers to form the base. Then I use green chiles for a mild flavor. If you are looking for something spicier, use jalapeño chili peppers. And, if you like this recipe, you can find "My Mama's Recipes and a Few of My Own" at Enjoy! 

Dirty Rice 
1 1/2 cup long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lb. spicy ground pork
1/2 cup chicken livers
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper
1-3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped or 1/4 cup diced green chiles
1 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 green onions, chopped
Cook the rice according to the package instructions, but use chicken broth for one third of the cooking liquid. So, for example, if the package says to use 3 cups of water for 1 1/2 cups of rice, use 2 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth. Once the rice has finished cooking, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Turn the rice out onto a sheet pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it. Mix to combine and let cool.

While the rice is cooking, mash and finely chop the chicken livers or purée in a blender. In a large pan, put 1 tablespoon of oil plus the bacon in and cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is crispy. Add the ground pork and increase the heat to high. Allow the meat to brown before stirring. As soon as the pork starts to brown, add the final tablespoon of oil and add the bell peppers, celery, jalapeños and onions. Brown them all over medium-high heat. Add the minced liver and cook for a few minutes more. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the Cajun seasoning and turn the heat to high. Boil away most of the chicken stock.

Add the cooked rice. Toss to combine. Add the green onions. Toss once more to combine and serve hot.

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