Tay-cos and rice? Taco Rice?

Taco rice

Taco rice with lots of toppings

Taco rice – it does sound like some freeze dried product but it actually comes from Okinawa.  Call it creeping American imperialism or stroke of brillance, but it is popular in that part of the world, with or without a taco truck.  This recipe comes from the Penzeys catalog.

Taco Rice (serves 4)

1 cup uncooked rice (see note)

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey

1/4 cup taco seasoning (I use Penzeys mix but the taco mix packets like Old El Paso would do OK)

3/4 cup water

1 cup salsa

Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sliced Black olives

Diced avocado

Sour cream

Add meat to a spray released skillet over medium high heat.  Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until it is well browned.  Drain fat if necessary.  Add the taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the water, stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8-10 minutes.  Most of the water should have evaporated but the meat will be well coated with the sauce.

Divide the rice inot four wide bowls.  Top the rice with the meat mixture, then add 1/4 cup salsa to the meat.  Top with the lettuce and cheese; serve the other toppings on the side.

I like this recipe because you can add leftover bits or leave out some items such as salsa if you’re out and it still tastes good.  Last week I added about half a cup of leftover black beans/sweet potato chili to the meat mixture.

Serve with tortilla chips and BEER.

Note:  People complain about cooking rice.  It’s not hard to cook the real stuff.  Save your dignity and don’t use instant or the parboiled variety.  Do this: For each serving use 1/4 cup raw rice and 1/2 cup water.  For the recipe above you’d need 1 cup raw rice and 2 cups water (yields 3 cups cooked).  Heat water in a covered casserole in the microwave until it is just below boiling, about 3 3/4 minutes in my microwave.  Add the rice and heat on full power for 45 seconds.  Then reduce heat to 30% and cook for another 12-13 minutes.  Let it set for about 5 minutes, covered, before serving.  If using brown rice, increase cooking time to about 17 minutes.  Experiment a bit with times and power levels, your microwave may be different.  See? Cheap, good rice.

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