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“Spanish” Rice

My mother began cooking for a family during the Great Depression, and recipes like this must have been her mainstays.  I think of her, always cooking up something delicious that didn’t break the bank.

I suppose she called this “Spanish” because of the chili powder, but it’s really the bacon that gives the dish its characteristic flavor.  (I do often make it bacon-free, however, using a bit of oil to saute the green pepper, in place of the bacon fat.)   How much salt you add will depend on whether you salted the rice in preparing it ahead, and whether you use bacon.

  • 4 slices bacon, optional
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (14 oz., about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili con carne powder
  • 1 cup water
  • salt

Fry the bacon until semi-crisp in a large skillet, remove the bacon, and leave the bacon fat in the skillet.  Dice the bacon coarsely.  Fry the green pepper in the bacon fat, until barely cooked.  Drain off most of the fat and add the remaining ingredients along with the diced bacon, and simmer and stir about 15 minutes, until the liquids are absorbed.

Serves four.

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