My Dad is a pretty good cook.  He didn’t used to be, but necessity and family recipes made him into a half decent chef.  He whipped up a dish for us one time while I was home visiting that was very tasty.  I asked him what it was exactly, and he said it was “Spanish rice.”  Now, I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is, or if he just tossed it together, decided it tasted vaguely Mexican, and dubbed it “Spanish rice.”  Doesn’t matter, this stuff is good.  Recipe after the jump.

You will need:

1 pound of ground beef

1/2 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped into half inch pieces

1/2 cup zucchini, sliced and cut into quarters

1 large can of petite diced tomatoes

1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes and chilis (optional)

2 cups of cooked rice, cooled to room temperature

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon ground red pepper

salt and pepper to taste


In a large, deep skillet, throw your ground beef in and brown it.  Drain off the fat with the exception of a couple tablespoons.  Toss in your onion, pepper, and zucchini, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion become translucent and the zucchini softens.

At this point, add your tomatoes.  You can add a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies, though if you do, this may cause your final product to be a little watery, so you can either add more rice, or not add as much petite diced tomatoes.  I recommend the latter.

Add your spices.  Allow the spices to cook into the mixture, and adjust according to taste.  (some people like it spicier, therefore they can add more ground red pepper)

When you are happy with the taste thus far, add your rice.  My dad used minute rice, but I think long grain rice, cooked in a rice cooker or on the stove top, comes out a lot better and fluffier.  Anyway, add your rice and mix in thoroughly.  Make sure to break apart clumps of rice.  Allow to cook for just a little bit, you don’t want the rice to break down.  Taste test now and then, you want the rice to absorb the spiced tomato juice.

Add in salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in a bowl.  This recipe also reheats well.  Having a skillet wide enough and deep enough is KEY.  You don’t want to run out of room, it just sucks and adds time onto your cooking time.

This makes enough to serve three people comfortably, and can also be a side dish.