Arroz de Tomate – Tomato Flavored Rice
This rice pairs well with fish and poultry, but you can serve it as a side dish for any meal. My father was named Dinis after Rei D. Dinis (1279 – 1325) he also loved rice as did the once reining king!
He first showed me how to make rice it when I was a young girl. To obtain a fluffy rice you should gently coat it with the olive oil or butter and let it stir fry gently for about a minute or two. This process allows the grains to stay intact and not get mushy while cooking.
To read more about the popularity of rice in Portugal visit this link from Catavino.com.
Excerpt from Catavino.com:
Portugal’s rice production along the Tejo River estuary has been documented since the 18th century, rice was cultivated in the southern regions of Portugal well beforehand – inherited from the Moors. It was during the reign of King D. Dinis (1279-1325) that rice was first referenced, curiously as a luxury product found only on the dining tables of the wealthy. Centuries later, the production of rice was outlawed, due to a high risk of malaria from the poor growing conditions. By the 19th century, rice became highly prized and produced, extending beyond the river basin to the North. Consequently, the Portuguese government changed their tune from rice as a “tolerable grain” to an agricultural powerhouse, thereby creating better conditions to ensure its success. By the beginning of the 20th century, a solid base for rice production had been established provoking the dissemination of rice fields across the country. credits: http://catavino.net/portuguese-rice-arroz-carolino/
2 cups uncooked rice (preferably long grain Carolina Rice or Uncle Bens)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
4 cups boiling water
1 chicken boullion cube
2 large very ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded, chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of olive oil
In heavy medium pan, saute the onion and bay leaf in the oil for a few minutes on medium heat until translucent. Add the rice, stir to coat with the oil for about 1 minute. Add the boiling water, salt, boullion and tomato.
Stir, cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring often. After fifteen minutes stir and taste for saltiness. Cover, remove from heat and let the rice absorb moisture as it sits until ready to serve.
Note: I like a firm rice, cook rice longer if you prefer it more will done.
To form the rice tower lightly grease a small ramekin with margarine. Pack the rice firmly in the ramekin and flip onto a plate.