The Portuguese are very talented at creating wonderful combinations from a limited palette of ingredients. Rice and tomatoes is a great example. Serve with roasted meats, especially chicken, and plenty of premium extra virgin olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat or lard
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice, with juices
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid, melt the bacon fat in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices; cover, then simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the stock; increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the rice, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to achieve a gentle simmer. Cover and cook the rice for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson (William Morrow, 1994)