Mario Batali, Have I Told You Lately How Much I Love You?
|And not so much for your cooking - although it looks scrumptious. No, I love you for being one of the many celebrity chefs that put out their own line of cast iron cookware. Yours is affordable, well made and the colors in your line are perfect for my kitchen! So, thank you Mario Batali! Thank you for my gorgeous and sexy Dutch Oven that I heart so very, very muchly! :)|
Oh hells yes, the love of my Dutch Oven is another reason why I chose Crockpots, Dutch Ovens and Pressure cookers for the theme of this months WCC, just so I could show off the sexiness once again! Behold and be dazzled..
Everything I make in this bad boy always turns out spectacular. I'm not exaggerating either. For instance.. my very Irish mother, makes the best Spanish rice ever and I've never been able to quite get it as good as hers - until just a few days ago. And I totally credit my success to my Mario Batali 4 quart Dutch Oven in Chianti (damn you Crate & Barrel for discontinuing to sell that color). This time it was perfect.. I dare say better than my mother's. *gasp* DON'T TELL HER!!
It turned out creamy with such a fantastic flavor. You could really taste the tomato, peppers and onion this time. In the past when I've made it, we've always had lots left over for freezing (and then eventually throwing out because of freezer burn) but there was none left this time. We had it for dinner that first night as the main course and the next night we had it as an accompaniment to Ben's Enchiladas
1 lb. lean ground round or sirloin
1 medium Spanish or Vidalia onion, diced small
1 medium bell pepper (whichever color that floats your boat), diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS. olive oil
1 32 oz. can of plain tomato sauce
1 32 oz. can of water
1 scant TBS. dried oregano
2 Bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
1 TBS. garlic powder (optional)
1 1/8 c. short grain white rice, uncooked
Sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil until just translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the ground round and cook until browned, then drain any excess fat (although there shouldn't be if you are using lean round or sirloin).
Once the meat is browned, pour in the can of tomato sauce, then fill the empty can with water and pour that in. Season with the oregano, bay leaves, salt & pepper and the garlic powder if using. Add the uncooked rice and let simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.
You should end up with a pot full of thick and creamy Spanish (Americanized) rice with not a lot of sauce left over. We love it this way as it resembles risotto, but it might be dry to someone else, so you can thin it by adding a little water or low-sodium chicken broth.
And with Ben's Enchiladas..
Another fantabulous, you won't be sorry, recipe to make in your sexy Dutch oven is Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon - a big bowl of this with crusty bread for dipping.. let's just say you will want to make out with Ina afterwards. ;)