Friday, July 20, 2012

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook: Spanish Tomato Rice

When my maternal grandmother died, all of her recipes went with her.  My mom doesn't remember her ever using a cookbook, and she rarely used clippings from newspapers and magazines.  We're not sure how she learned to cook the amazing things she made, or how she remembered them all, but they were supposedly fantastic (she died when I was 2).  My mom has tried off and on to recreate the dishes she remembers from her childhood, and Spanish rice is one of those things.

Most of the rice served at Tex-Mex restaurants here in Texas is pretty dry, with some peas and carrots occasionally thrown in the mix.  My mom remembers her mother's rice being rice and moist, with bacon on top.  Sounds amazing, right?

Well, we finally decided that this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens is probably as close as we're going to get.  It meets all of the requirements and is pretty darn tasty.  I mean, how can you go wrong with bacon sprinkled on top?  If you're a Texan, you might need some additional spice (cayenne pepper maybe?), but since my grandmother lived in Maryland, I have a feeling this dish is just right.

Spanish Tomato Rice
From the 1974 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

In a 10-inch skillet, cook 8 slices of bacon till crisp; remove.  Pour off half the fat.  In remaining fat, cook 1 cup finely chopped onion, and ¼ cup chopped green pepper till tender but not brown.

Add one 1-pound can tomatoes, 1½ cups water, ¾ cup uncooked long-grain rice, ½ cup chili sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and dash pepper.  Cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes.  Crumble bacon on top.  Trim with parsley.

Makes 6 servings


Anonymous said...

This was a family favorite. Mom would make it and serve a salad and bread. It was a cheap, easy meal when times were tough.

Learning to Edit said...

This was exactly what I was looking for. I think it's almost exactly the Better Homes & Gardens red plaid cover 1982 version we were given as brides along with the cookbooks of friends recipes that my Grandmother did for my mom, and my mom for me. I don't remember the chile sauce but i lived in the country so I probably just never had that in the larder. I added a can of black beans to mine, usually another pepper and it gets better with age. The black beans look nice because the chile powder does give it a darker color. Haven't tried brown rice, will do this today but maybe like 20%.

Anonymous said...

This rice is excellent. I have made it for years & lost my recipe.
Thank you do very much.