Sunday, September 6, 2015

Louisiana Dirty Rice

"Dirty Rice" may sound weird and unappetizing but, in fact, it's delicious.  I guess ,because I grew up eating it, it never occurred to me that the name was weird.  I just automatically associated it with goodness.  It was only when a friend (from up North) asked if it was called dirty rice because it fell on the floor that I even thought about the name.  It's just a dish made with white rice that has been colored to look "dirty" by cooking it with meat and seasonings.  You can eat it by itself or use it to stuff bell peppers.  Usually, it's made with giblets (I really don't like giblets. Ugh!), but it can be made with ground beef, which is what I use.  Also, it's a great use for leftover rice (which I always have!).  Here's the easy. quick recipe:


1 lb ground beef
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked, cold rice (important that it's cold!)
2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
a few dashes hot sauce

Brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper in a large skillet.

Drain off any excess grease, but leave a little (that's flavor!).

Season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Add tomato paste and saute for a few minutes.

Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.  Then stir in the cold, cooked rice.  (If it's not cold, it will get way too mushy!  I like to use left over rice that's been in the fridge).

Season it to taste again with salt and pepper.  If it seems too dry, add a little bit of water and stir well.

That's it.  It's so easy and very filling.  Plus it tastes really good!

If you want to go a step further, you can use the dirty rice to stuff some bell peppers.

You can either cut the tops off the peppers, clean the insides out, blanch them in boiling water, then individually fill each with the dirty rice before baking or take the easy way out and do this:

Cut the tops off the peppers then cut them in half and clean out the seeds.  Lay the halves in a casserole dish.

Spoon the dirty rice over the peppers.

Make a "sauce" by mixing ketchup, a few dashes each of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Spread sauce over each.

Pour about 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the casserole dish. The water helps to steam the peppers and soften them without having to blanch them before baking.  Great short-cut!  Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more to brown the tops.

This is a much easier version of stuffed bell peppers.

So, whether you stuff peppers with it or eat it by itself, Dirty Rice is a delicious, easy and filling dish.  Don't let the name scare you.

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