Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gussied Up Spanish Rice

I have been on a Mexican food kick lately, so for tonight's dinner, I decided to see what I could turn a box of Rice-a-Roni and a pound of hamburger into. I am very pleased with the results.

1 Box Spanish Rice Rice-a-Roni
1 14.5 oz can of stewed Mexican style tomatoes
1 lb ground beef
1 4 oz can diced green chilis
1 small can sliced black olives
Miced onion, or diced onion
Garlic Salt
Salsa (optional)
Cheese (I used the pre-shred Mexican blend, but cheddar would work too)
Tortillas (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Prepare the Rice-a-Roni as directed. The recipe calls for a 14.5 oz can of tomatoes, but isn't specific about the flavor or style, so I used the stewed Mexican style.

While the rice is simmering, brown the ground beef. Season with minced or diced onion, pepper and garlic salt to taste.

When the beef is about 3/4 done, add the green chilis and olives. When it is just about done, add a big spoonful of salsa, if desired. When the meat is done, drain it, put it back in the pan and add about 1/2 cup cheese. Keep warm until the rice is done.

When the rice is done, add the meat mixture. Add another 1/2 cup or so of cheese. Mix it all up and when the cheese is melted, dinner is ready.

I tried this by itself and wrapped in a flour tortilla with sour cream. I liked it better on its own. The tortilla and sour cream seemed to really mute the flavor.

For a more complete meal, I would serve a side salad with a Salsa Ranch dressing or a vegetable medley of steamed red, orange and yellow Bell peppers. If being overloaded on starches isn't a concern, go with corn with a touch of salsa mixed in.

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