Garlic Rice Pilaf

Yum – this was a perfect accompaniment to our salmon dinner tonight. I like the fact that I don’t have to babysit this at the stove trying to split time up between it and the main course. It baked away in the oven while I prepped the salmon and broccoli; but this rice takes over an hour to bake. I needed to start this about 40 minutes before I could cook the broccoli and salmon, but it worked out well because once the rice was about 20 minutes to completion, I placed the salmon on the bottom rack of the oven. The flavor was garlicky and nutty with a hint of the lemon. I added shallot to this and lemon zest to up the flavor and added about a half tablespoon more butter. This will definitely be in our rotation! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Garlic Rice Pilaf – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 2 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2½ cups chicken broth, divided
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Directions: 


Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Have ready a covered casserole dish (*I don’t own a covered dish that was small enough, but foil worked just fine*).  In a saucepan or skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, shallot and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth, lemon zest and 1/2 tablespoon of butter and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time.

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

I  love taco night:) Especially when all the work takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then the crock pot does the rest. I seared the meat and prepared the sauce the night before. I decided that it was best to have it ready to go so I don’t have to stress about it the next day. There is lots of spring cleaning I need to finish…one less thing is just that – one less thing.

The verdict: The meat was so flavorful, tender, juicy and not at all spicy. It just has a wonderful smoky flavor from the chipotles and smoked paprika. I used two chipotles in mine and they weren’t overpowering at all. We ate these tacos with my “orange” rice, this salsa, cilantro and some shredded Colby Monterey jack cheese. I suppose some day I should share my “orange” rice with you all since I have mentioned it in several different posts🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos – adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin (*cumin is my favorite, so I always use extra)
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Favorite taco toppings

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.

Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker.  Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.

Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.

Arroz con Leche

I love arroz con leche. It reminds me of my  Grandma Tavita, my childhood and simpler times. This recipe isn’t exactly like my Gram’s but it’s pretty similar. It’s good, comforting and creamy – and not exactly health food. That’s why this is only my third time making it this year…and I eat it all by myself! M and the kids wont touch it – maybe when the kids are older they might want to. But, I think for some people, if you didn’t grow up eating something you may never like it. I love Mexican food, because of course I grew up eating it and it always reminds me of my Gram 🙂 I miss her! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Arroz con Leche Recipe – adapted from Ingrid Hoffman

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice ( I use Jasmin rice)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 whole cloves (I omit these)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional

Directions –
Soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and whole cloves in the water in a heavy saucepan for 1 hour.

After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture, vanilla extract and condensed milk to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes.

Let cool uncovered.

Note: be aware that as the rice cools it thickens. The finished product will be thinner than traditional rice pudding.