Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur
Having a meal is a very social activity for me. I rarely cook for myself, preferring to feed at least my roommate, and often an additional friend over for dinner and company. While I usually plan ahead to ensure I have enough food, occasionally there are last minute changes that force me to improvise.
While making tomatillo sauce for pork and a side of corn cakes, I found out that instead of one, possibly two, guest(s), we would be having three people over. I needed to quickly come up with another dish to stretch what I had planned, but keep with the theme of a Southwestern dinner. I had no fresh fruit, so the easiest option was out.
I was already using corn tortillas and making corn cakes, so my cornbread mix was out of the question. I had no potatoes and few vegetables I hadn’t already utilized. However, amongst my pantry staples sat canned tomatoes and jasmine rice, two things I am rarely without.
With just a touch of quick thinking, I was able to whip up an easy Spanish rice recipe. It’s delicious and mild, a perfect accompaniment to the other dishes of the evening. While it’s hardly the most authentic side, it doesn’t require any unusual ingredients and is relatively low-cost. The most expensive part was the can of tomatoes, so if you can find one of those for less than the $1 I purchased mine for, you can notably reduce the cost!
2 tsp olive oil or canola oil
1/4 of a sweet onion, diced
1/2 of a jalapeno, seeded and diced
One 14-ounce can of petit diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 cup jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
Salt & pepper
Saute onion and jalapeno in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add all other ingredients, including salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then cover. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is done.
Makes three servings.
Cost per serving: $0.72
Calories per serving: 185