Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dorie Rocks!

As ya'll know by now I'm sure, this month's hostess is the very lovely Morven, and she chose Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake which is featured in Dorie's BAKING: From My Home to Yours. (My baking bible) All I can say is that this was a great cake. Not very challenging but that's okay.. I need a breather once in a while.

Light and fluffy! Betchas didn't know how great a dog kennel doubles for a cooling rack, did you? :P

Morv allowed our imaginations to run wild in the flavor department. (Thanks sweetie!) So after much debate, I finally ended up staying with the lemon cake as written by Dorie and for the filling I decided to change it up a bit and went in search of something that tripped my trigger.

The West Side Market - you just have to love it. I found quite a little treasure trove of imported jams, preserves and jellies. I couldn't decide between Pineapple, Bitter Orange or Pear, so I bought them all. Hey!! I LIKE toast! Sheesh.. so judgemental. :P I also found a jar of imported Dulce de Leche.. so yeah, that went up to the cashier as well. :D

St. Dalfour Gourmet Pear Preserves.. *swoon*

I decided on the pear preserves but kicked it up a notch (ugh.. sorry Emeril) by dicing up 4 Bosc pears, and caramelizing them in butter and brown sugar until they were goldeny and well.. caramel-y. Delish!! I could have ate them piping hot, right there standing over the stove. As for the buttercream, I knew immediately what I wanted to do and that was salted caramel. *swoon*

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
Wonderin' why there's no shots of the whole cake? Remember back in grade school when you were taught to "stop, drop and roll" if you were to catch on fire? What the hell was wrong with those people?? Tellin' kids they could catch on fire! No damn wonder I'm not right. :P Anyhoo.. I froze, frosted and sliced. :D

So a lemon cake, filled with caramelized pears and pear preserves topped off with salted caramel buttercream. Does that squick anyone out? I couldn't decide if I had a great flavor combo that many people would like.. or if I was just weird because it appealed to me. har!

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

And if you were starting to feel a little despair at the thought of a challenge going perfectly well for me just because it wasn't exactly "challenging" well fear not, my lovelies.. I did manage a screw up - and a royal one at that! :D

*blush* I didn't read the recipe for the buttercream and just assumed it was the Italian meringue kind.. I know! Who the hell do I think I am just assuming, eh?

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Well, in ignorant bliss, I carried on making it the Italian meringue way, but instead of drizzling in the molten hot sugar syrup, I decide it'd be awesome if I were to cook that sugar until it was dark amber - hell yes! Can you imagine how caramel-y it would make the buttercream?? Yeah, well it doesn't. And for the love of Christ, don't try this at home. The instant the dark amber sugar syrup hit those cold whipped egg whites.. Mmmm... hmmmm.. *clunkedy* *clackedy* went my stand mixer. It sounded like there was GRAVEL in there. hahahaha!

I quickly threw that batch out. And then started my usual panic. :P

I decided that this would be an opportune time to actually read the recipe.. lo and behold it's the Swiss meringue variety. Go figger. Well, all I had to do was google caramel Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and there it was! I found an excellent recipe that was written exactly like Dorie's, except you make a caramel by cooking the sugar to that dark amber point, and then add heavy cream. You let that cool a bit, and then whip it into the buttercream after you've whipped in the last of the butter. What the recipe didn't tell me is that it would thin out my beautifully thick and creamy buttercream almost instantly. $#!*%

At this juncture, it was late and my sis was over for a visit so I had kind of passed the point of caring. So I pretty much just poured my buttercream over the caramelized pears on three layers, topped it off with the final layer of cake and popped it into the fridge to sit while I finished dinner. Oh yeah, and I threw my bowl of buttercream in the freezer too.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Twenty minutes later I was rewarded with a set cake and gorgeously thick and creamy buttercream! *Snap!* (Did I just say Snap!? WTF?) I frosted that baby and sliced her up toot sweet! The cake was delish - although a little sweet for my tastes, believe it or not. I should have made my caramel a lil more saltier and I could have left the imported pear preserves off and just used the caramelized pears that I made - it would have been less sweet and that would have made this a truly perfect cake. :D

Thank you, Morv my love! And thank you, Dorie Greenspan! I will definitely make this cake again.. and I can't wait to play with more flavors!

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
Any guesses to how many shots of a single slice of cake one person can take? :P

The new Daring Bakers are calling.. looks like we've got about another 100 some members joining in April - soon we will hit that 1,000 mark! Then.. world domination! :D

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake
'scuse me.. how many shots of a scraggly lookin' slice of cake one person can take? :P~

Do ya'll need me to remind you to visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll so you can drool over hundreds and hundreds of amazing cakes? Yeah.. I didn't think so. ;)


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

WCC No. 26 Round-Up - Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens and Crockpots - Oh My!


Well right off the bat before I say anything else.. Ya'll are AMAZING! The quality of recipes that landed in my email inbox pretty much blew me away and I truly cannot wait to try each and every one them out myself! Thank you so much to everyone who participated.. the variety in this round-up will surely hold a recipe or TEN of interest to all who read through it. :)

If you just landed on the planet or if the sun is blocking your view of the title to this post, I am talking about this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. The WCC is the baby of one of my most favorite people in all the world, Sara. Sara came up with this idea three years ago and it's been going strong ever since. The WCC is one of my most favorite events, and probably the only event that I can say I participate in as often as I can. I love the themes that are picked, this event always feels laid back and fun and I rarely feel pressured - because 9 out of 10 times, the theme chosen is usually broad enough that I never have a hard time finding a recipe that will work. Thanks for that, past and future hostesses and hosts! :D

So for my inaugural hosting gig (I say that because I hope there will be future months where I can host again! hee!) I chose "Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens and Crockpots" as my way of saying BUH BYE WINTER. A last send off to the chilly winds, oppresive blankets of snow and the hateful freezing rains that coat everything in a hard shell of slippery ice.. screw that noise! I want the first flowers of Spring! I want the trees to start budding! I want the sun to shine again! And for those of you who have winter waiting right around the corner.. think of this round-up as a bevy of deliciousness that you can refer back to on those cold mornings or evenings when you just want something quick, easy, tasty and comforting for dinner. :)

Starting off our "it's been nice, winter - now go the fakk away" round-up is:

One of the funniest gals on the block.. a New Yorker turned Londonite (word?) and loving it.. and one gal who ALWAYS makes me drool through my laughter, AnneMarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. AnneMarie decided to make a very sexy George Clooney taking one of his pot bellied pigs for a walk. Wait. Did she even cook anything? George was mentioned.. I just.. zoned.. AHA! A most delicious dish of Chicken, White Wine, Saffron, Pine Nuts and Raisins! Yes it's all coming back to me now.. this screams elegance to me.. light and delicious that would be just as wonderful in winter as it would be in summer. A stunner, AnneMarie (and no, I'm not talking about George this time) - thank you my love! :)

I just realized this round-up is full of Ohioans! Our first represent is Fran of Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie. Welcome Fran!! And what a way to represent what I fondly call, The Armpit of the Midwest, than this beautiful presentation of Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. Wow, they are just so pretty and what a fabulous way to use some of the bounty from our garden this summer! I look forward! Thank you! Thank you!

Gretchen of Canela & Comino has shared with us a recipe for Spicy Pulled Pork and reminds us that, indeed, the crockpot is not just for winter! And she's right.. the crockpot is a perfect vessel to make delicious meals without heating up your kitchen/house on a scorching July day. And what better mid-summer night's dinner, while the sun sets and the day gets slightly cooler.. some spicy tacos! Fantabulous! Thank you so much for the recipe and the reminder, Gretchen. :)

IvonneRice pudding 2
Awww my sweet sister and partner in crime, my beautiful co-founder of the Daring Bakers, Ivonne, took some time away from everything that is going on in her life right now to make us this delicious and OHMYGODIWANTSOMENOW Rice Pudding with Dulce de Leche. Hello? Me.. over here.. holding a spoon.. I want some. Now. Please? Thank you so much, sweetheart. :)

Here's a lil ah-spicy Italian Meat-ah Ball Chicken Cacciatore made by Erin of Dinner and Dessert! You sure know the way to my heart, Erin.. I love love love Chicken Cacciatore! And I haven't had it since my mom made it years ago. Whenever I crave it, the thought of a long cooking time usually changes my mind, because I don't have the time after work, but throwing it all in the crockpot is genius! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing with us! :D

A very Happy Baker, SaraLynn the adorable, brings our first boozy delight.. and when I say delight, I mean the total pig out, game on, man (and woman) pleaser and tummy filler upper.. Brats in Beer! Yum! We make these often, but usually grill top.. which means not so much in the winter.. again, the crockpot sure does come in handy! Toss those beautiful brats, thinly sliced onions and a whole lotta beer in the crockpot one afternoon and a few short hours later when the grumbellies start making some noise - you've got dinner! Fantastic! Thank you SaraLynn! :D

SaraProvencalVegetables SaraHerbedNewPotatoes
Well well.. here we are.. it's Sara. The love of my life. The apple of my eye. The cream in my coffee.. Sara who started it all with i like to cook and then WOW'd the blogging world with her Weekend Cookbook Challenge! The WCC is one of the longest running monthly foodie events and by the looks of it - and how hard it was to find an open month to host :P - has no signs of stoppin' any time soon! Which makes me a very happy camper. As do these amazing veggie dishes.. Oh how I loves me my veggies.. Firstly (yes, not 1 but 2 dishes) she made Provencal Vegetables from Bouchon, one of her many cookbooks. Would you just take a moment and thank the cast iron Gods for such sexiness? Something that looks that good can only make foods taste so much better.. and Thomas Keller behind the recipe can't hurt much either, right? :D As promised, her second dish is Herbed New Potatoes from everyone's favorite barefooted Contessa. hee! Those are some tots that I could eat every night for dinner - hell they'd be perfect for lunch and/or breakfast! YUM! Thank you so much for allowing me to host! For two fabulous veggie recipes from two fabulous cookbooks! And for just bein' my friend. xoxo

A loyal participator in the WCC is the very awesome, Michelle, of Je Mange la Ville. I've been lurking on Michelle's blog for a couple years now and have made some of her recipes - always a treat! On St. Patrick's Day, she and her hubby celebrated with an authentic MEXICAN meal! heeee! Always keepin' those leprechauns on their toes! And whoooo baby, does this crockpot fiesta look amazing! Pinto Picadillio is what it's called. I call it fabulous! Thanks so much, Michelle!

Judy's Gross Eats - Moroccan Chick
Judy of Judy's Gross Eats has joined in! Yay! Judy who should change the name of her blog to "Judy's DELICIOUS Eats" because there's not one gross recipe anywhere! Especially this Moroccan Chicken! There is absolutely nothing in this recipe that I don't adore and I so look forward to making this. I know Hubbs will love it too. Thank you, Judy! You're a doll! An absolutely non-gross doll! :)

Peter from Kalofagas is slingin Okra around his pressure cooker.. two things I'd naught thought to join together. Hmm.. and Peter tells us that Okra is also very popular in Greek cuisine. Another thing I didn't know. Well, not only was it a day of learning a few things, but also a day of excitment as Peter submitted Okra Two Ways! Both dishes look divine - thank you so much, Peter! :)

Talk about re-thinking the uses of a pressure cooker.. honestly, I thought it was all about liquids and meats.. no sauces.. no vegetables.. and then I came upon a lovely email in my out box from KC of Kits Chow. KC submitted this recipe for Braised Short Ribs, which in and of itself is a lil slice of heaven on a plate! But I couldn't help myself in wandering around her blog for a while.. she makes all kinds of things with her Pressure Cooker - she uses a steamer basket and a ceramic bowl and creates all kinds of culinary deliciousness! Thank you so much, KC! I am officially hooked on your blog. :D

One of Germany's most gifted and lovely cooks as well as a long standing member of the WCC, Ulrike of Küchenlatein! As always Ulrike brings something fabulous to WCC round-ups and I always look to see what she's created. For Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens & Crockpots, she has made succulent Smoked Pork Neck in Pineapple Sauce with Dried Cherries and Raisins. Will you look at that photo? OMG it looks DELISH! Thank you so much, Ulrike! :)

Next is Lisa (love your name!) from LadyConcierge. In my humble opinion, Lisa has brought the sexy back to Pot Roast. Seriously, doesn't that dish make you all warm and tingly inside? Way to go! And thanks so much for sharing, Lisa!

LiberalFoodieIrish lamb stew
Liberal Foodie a fellow Ohioan, had a busy day of NOT shopping at Ikea and finding some delicious items at the local Halal Market. One of those items was some lamb, which she chose to highlight in an Irish Lamb Stew for St. Patrick's Day. The recipe sounds delish and there's a whole bottle of beer in there, so you KNOW it's Irish. hee! Sounds like you had a fun evening - wish I could have been there! But hey.. since I wasn't, this was a pretty good second. Thank you so much! :D

Robin of Made With Love brings us another Irish dish - that really wasn't what the Irish of days passed actually ate! Did you know that? The true boiled meat with cabbage dinner was most likely bacon, or salt pork - because there was no refridgeration back then, they had to preserve their meats in salt. Makes sense! I'm sure it was absolutely delicious a 100 years ago, but Woo baby, there's nothing like Corned Beef and Cabbage and Robin's version made in her crockpot looks incredibly yummy! I had to block the view of my monitor from Hubbs as I was reading Robin's post.. if he would have seen it I would have been shopping for a corned beef brisket that afternoon! hee! Thanks for giving me a new way to make this incredible dish, Robin!

Awww.. he holds a place in me heart, he does.. Mike from Mel's Diner is up next. The king of 20 questions, the laugh of the party, the very nice man who turns quite curmudgeon-y when presented with a boat load of lamb, some spices and none too big onions for stuffin'. :D Sick he was! Yet he still slaved over his beloved pressure cooker with Nigella close by to bring us this delicious dinner of Beef With Anchovies And Thyme a la Pressure Cooker! heeee! Aww look at that beef.. so tender. And who can say no to noodles?? Not I! Thanks Mike.. hope you are feeling better. :)

Our second dessert! The extremely talented and not quite yet there almost stir-crazy mom of two gorgeous babies, Aidan and Cole, Holly of PheMOMenom brings us this KICK ASS lookin' Caramel Apple Rice Pudding - I have just one word to describe this dessert.. *slurp* Holly you are the bees knees! Thank you sweetheart! :D

Who's the sexiest hoochie mama blogger of all time? Kelly is! 'kay this woman keeps me in stitches and Kleenex in business with all the droolin' I do over at her blog. This recipe was definitely a 10 Kleenex recipe.. My gal, she made us some SERIOUSLY Savory Chicken and Dumplings! Would you look at the size of that dumpling?? Ohh and those veggies are makin' my engine roar.. or maybe that's just Kel's affect on me.. SAUCY! ;) Love ya babe.. thanks so muchly!

Next on this list of talented cooks is a new friend of mine and another fellow Ohioan, Mary of Shazam in the Kitchen! Now ya'll? Send lots of prayers and good wishes for our Mary as she just had a pretty extensive knee surgery a few days ago.. and she's got a long road of recovery ahead of her.. We wish you nothing but the best, sweets! And bless your heart (and your rolly computer chair) for getting in the kitchen and creating for us another boozy and delicious crockpot creation, Lamb Chops in Beer - SWEET! Tender meat and lots of veggies chillin' in a warm and bubbly beer bath.. Oh yeah.. sweet sweet yuminess! Thanks again, Mary! :)

Hey.. before we move along to the next talented cook, I'd like to also mention another friend of mine who has also just had surgery - a fellow Daring Baker and all around super sweet gal, Amanda of Little Foodies is recovering from back surgery.. can ya'll squeeze her in your prayers and good thoughts as well? We're wishing you a speedy recovery, love! xoxo

I'm quite proud of our next brand spankin' new blogger.. Lovelycats of Sherry Trifle started out submitting her posts to me on the Daring Bakers Non-blogging Members Blog and has since struck out on her own with her brand new blog. Congrats! The WCC was honored to be one of her first posts and she bring us this delicious Red Curry Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk. Having just reviewed a cookbook with recipes chuck full of curry and coconut milk, I can confidently say that this dish IS delicious. And cooked in a crockpot.. how fab is that? Thank you very muchly, Lovelycats! :D

Chelle of Sugar & Spice joins in on the fun and brings to the table a lovely Pot Roast that I'd be proud to serve my family. During the magnificent Blizzard of 2008, Chelle whipped out her crockpot and a book of crockpot recipes put out by Cooking Light Magazine (I must get this book!).. I can attest to recipes in other Cooking Light Annual Cookbooks, everything I've had has been flavorful and shockingly good (low fat? low calorie? good for you and tastes good? Well I'll be dipped!), so this recipe will not disappoint! Thanks for sharing this with us, Chelle! :)

Deborahcornish hen
Another favorite blogger of mine, Deborah of Taste and Tell decided to finally try her hand at cooking Cornish Hens.. Roasted Lemon Almond Cornish Hens.. and in the crockpot no less! Hurray! I love Cornish Hens and have only roasted them before.. am just tickled with the thought of throwing a couple in the slow cooker one Sunday! And this might have to be the recipe I use.. lemony poultry.. *happy sigh* Much abliged, Deborah - as per usual you always have me craving! :)

I dare you to find me a sweeter gal than our Gabi of The Feast Within! Always with such nice words to say and with such talent in her kitchen! I saw this Latin concoction and instantly started to swoon. Her Mom's Chalupa recipe is just begging to be made with a nice big dollop of both sour cream and guacamole! Ole! hahahaha gawd I crack myself up with the corny shit I come up with.. Ole! *ahem* Thank you, sweet Gabi.. this is going to be made for our annual summer party! :)

Another fabulous Mary on our list.. and guest at Chez La Mia Cucina last summer, Mary the Breadchick from The Sour Dough! Yay! 'kay well Mary wins the Grand Poobah Award for most entries in one post for the use of her crockpot! You go girlfriend! Along with the gorgeous Swedish Stuffed Cabbage pictured above, Mary also made Pot Roast, Hamburger Soup, Corned Beef & Cabbage, and, a Mini Meatloaf! hahahahaaa! Fabulous! Bread Maven and Crockpot Queen! Hugs and smoochies! Thanks sweetie :)

JillOrange Scented Beet Salad 004
Jill of Veggie Queen Adventures, wowed me with this gorgeous salad.. her Orange Scented Beet Salad to be more specific. Sweet beets, cooked quickly in the pressure cooker and then tossed with spicy greens and an orange scented vinaigrette.. I don't think a more simply made salad could be any better. What a fabulous recipe.. thank you so much, Jill!

Lisa's Spanish Rice Italian Chicken and Potatoes
And finally.. the old windbag herself.. Me. :) Well I made my Mom's Spanish Rice and frankly? I outdid myself.. it was sheer tomato-y goodness. The rice was cooked to perfection, the ground beef and veggies were flavorful.. the rice soaked up just the right amount of the sauce.. oh yeah.. we enjoyed this two nights in a row. And then I also made these amazingly simply and unbelievably good, Italian Wings & Potatoes for another foodie event, but would feel awful to not include them here because this is a place someone might come lookin' for a slowcooker recipe and it'd be a crying shame if they missed out on these. Not kiddin.. SO GOOD!

Thank you so much to all of you.. this was a lot of fun and I can't wait to experiment with all these delicious concoctions! Ya'll rock. :D Thank you again, Sara my love.. now bring me some taters? ;)


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Festa Italiana!

I don't get a chance to participate in many events these days and it makes me sad because there are so many great foodie events out there! But there was just no way I could miss this event, Festa Italiana, hosted by two beautiful Italian women, Marie of Proud Italian Cook and Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita (beautiful, AND they've both got amazing blogs that I love to read!).

Not only do these lovely ladies promise this to be a gathering of friends not to be missed, but Marie and Maryann are inviting us to join them in a "celebration of the sweet life!" - who could say no to that? Not I!

I'm bringing quite the tasty dish to this party.. but I might be cheating on the Italian authenticity of it. Well, okay, there is no "might be" - I am cheating - the only thing Italian about this dish is the salad dressing. I KNOW! How can an Italian cheat on the Italian food?? The way I see it is.. this is a dinner my father would have LOVED. And if my Italian daddy liked it, then so will everyone else! :)

Super easy to make (that's what I'm all about these days!) with only 4 ingredients ('kay 6 if you include salt & pepper)! Toss it all together in your crockpot and voila! 7 hours later you've got dinner! Oh and did I mention it's made in the crockpot?


Don't forget about WCC No. 26 - Pressure Cookers, Dutch Ovens & Crockpots! Submissions due March 26th! Hey! You don't even need a blog.. if you've got a great recipe.. cook 'er up, snap a few photos and email it all to me and I'll post for you! :D
(lamiacucina AT adelphia DOT net)


So here I come with bells on, bottles of wine strapped to my back and arms loaded with succulent and savory wings for your enjoyment!

Italian Chicken and Potatoes
"Italian" Chicken Wings and Potatoes

3 lbs. whole chicken wings, rinsed and pat dry
1/2 c. Italian salad dressing - I use Wishbone Robusto Italian
1 tsp. Italian salad dressing mix - I used Good Seasons packets
1-2 lbs. small (baby) red or yukon gold potatoes, cut into fourths
salt and pepper to taste

Italian Chicken and Potatoes Italian Chicken and Potatoes

Lay the chicken wings on the bottom on the crockpot and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of dressing mix and season lightly with salt & pepper, then drizzle with 1/4 c. of the Italian dressing.

Italian Chicken and Potatoes Italian Chicken and Potatoes

Lay the cut potatoes on top of the chicken and sprinkle the remaining dressing mix, seasoning lightly again with salt & pepper, then drizzle the remaining Italian dressing.

Put the lid on and turn it on high for 7 hours. At the half way point, I usually go in and give everything a little toss just to make sure the wings aren't burning on the bottom of the pot.

Italian Chicken and Potatoes

You will not believe how delicious the wings and potatoes turn out!

Italian Chicken and Potatoes


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Monday, March 17, 2008

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..

My new pride and joy =)
My GOD is that not the cat's meow in cast iron cookware??

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 Verde uhh Rojo. Damn store didn't have one fakkin tomatillo in the place! So we had to go with tomatoes. Not that that was a bad thing, as the sauce turned out beautifully. Thanks, Ben!! Deeeelicious! :)

Lisa's Spanish Rice
Awww lil wilty Cilantro :P

Mom's Spanish Rice

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

Lisa's Spanish Rice

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).

Lisa's Spanish Rice

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.

Lisa's Spanish Rice Lisa's Spanish Rice

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.

Lisa's Spanish Rice

And with Ben's Enchiladas..
Ben's Enchilada.. Rojo?
Delicious chicken Enchilada, Rojo sauce, Spanish Rice and Corn Cake. *swoon*

Beef Bourguignonne

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. ;)


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