This Spicy Spanish Rice combines rice, shrimp and achiote into one dish. Add some kale and you’ve got yourself a flavor-packed and colorful meal!
You guys. I have a secret… like, a major secret. My fiancé is Hispanic.
Ok now that that’s out in the open, I can tell you that he does in fact crave Hispanic food sometimes. Typically I don’t take his suggestions seriously because I already have a laundry list of recipe ides, but this time was different. When he suggested rice and shrimp, I figured OK, now that I can do.
It’s not that I’m NOT willing to make his favorite recipes, Hispanic food is just not something I’m used to cooking so I have to spend a bit more time researching and/or at the grocery store exploring the various spices and appropriate ingredients. Which is why when I entered the “Hispanic” aisle at Giant Eagle, I immediately called Miguel. What is the difference between culantro y achiote and azafran? I had no idea. Thankfully, Miguel did.
Speaking of Miguel.. The other day I spent 5.7 hours in the kitchen conjuring up recipes–three recipes to be exact. On days like this, time flies and I just go from one recipe to the next. The problem is that I don’t ever do the dishes in between, so by the end of it all of our dishes are on the countertop dirtier than ever. He always asks if I’m going to do the dishes and I always reply yes even though what I really mean is maybe. Then, the next day I came home from running errands and they were done, poof GONE from the countertops. I adore him.
Every time we go to Washington DC, Miguel’s mom makes us some sort of dish with this kind of rice, typically with chicken instead of shrimp. It makes the whole house smell the way lunch and/or dinner should smell. Kind of like when you cook with onions—the whole house smells like onions! ….if you enjoy onions, then you’re probably thinking ummm yum, but if you hate them, then disregard that last statement.
This dish is so simple, I almost feel silly sharing it. But then again I don’t because, like me, some of you may not know what the heck culantro y achiote (coriander & annatto) is and why you should be eating it. Let me say that it’s delicious and provides WAY more flavor to rice than whatever else you normally flavor your rice with. Give it a try—it’s different in the best way possible.
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2½ cups water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 packet achiote
- ½ cup kale, stems removed
- ½ lb. large shrimp (approx. 2 cups)
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Defrost shrimp in water according to instructions on the package.
- At the same time, bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add rice.
- Once rice has absorbed the water (if it hasn't absorbed all the water but is soft in texture, drain excess water), transfer to a skillet with olive oil.
- Cook rice over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then add achiote and kale; mix well.
- While the rice is cooking, cook shrimp in a separate skillet with chili powder, paprika and a drop of olive oil.
- Once rice and shrimp are cooked, combine into one bowl.
Q: Do you go out during the week? Have you ever tried culantro y achiote seasoning?
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