This recipe came about one day when I had leftover rice and needed to feed a few more people than I had anticipated. The spicy rice worked well with my simple menu of green salad and bean and cheese burritos. Try the variations at the end of the recipe – add any left over chicken, tofu, or beef as you add the rice, or plop a fried egg atop a serving for a quick but satisfying lunch.
I must put in an unpaid, unsolicited plug for Penzeys Spices at http://www.penzeys.com, based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Check out their website to see if one of their stores is near you or order online. Penzeys single herbs and spices and their delicious blends will make your cooking shine. I use their medium chili powder in this recipe and all of the other herbs and spices listed came from Penzeys, too.
Mild to spicy depending on your taste – follow the first measurements where there are two if you prefer mild. Serves 4
4 cups unseasoned cooked white rice
3 Tbsp. neutral oil such as grape seed or avocado oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, grated
½ to 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper or bottled roasted red pepper
½ to 3 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ to ½ tsp. ground dried chipotle pepper or 1 chopped canned chipotle pepper
Scant ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ to ½ tsp. black pepper
Dash of hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
¼ tsp. sugar
3 ounces (half a can) tomato paste
1 tsp. soy sauce
Water or chicken stock
1 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese or ¼ cup nutritional yeast
Measure the dry spices – from chili powder through the black pepper – in a cup and set aside.
Sauté the grated onion in oil on medium heat in a heavy 10 to 12” skillet a few minutes until it starts to be translucent, add the jalapeño and red peppers and sauté until the peppers are soft and the onions are just starting to brown.
Add the spices and stir well.
Lower the heat to medium low and add the hot pepper sauce, sugar, tomato sauce, soy sauce, and enough water or chicken stock (about 1/3 cup) to make a thick sauce.
Add the cooked rice and stir well to mix. Heat through if the rice is cold. Sprinkle grated cheese or nutritional yeast on top.
Variations: To the finished rice, right before you top it with cheese, add a cup of chopped cooked chicken, steak, or cubed tofu that has been marinated in a mix of soy sauce, white wine, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper and then sautéed in oil to brown.