Sweet and Spicy Rice Bowls is a recipe that evolved as I went. Let me tell you how it happened. There I was, faced with yet another challenge to create a rice meal that my brothers would actually eat….(we interrupt your regularly scheduled story-time for a backstory on why The Chef’s brothers do not like rice)….Friar Tyst, The Health Inspector, and La Critico (especially La Critico), do not always enjoy eating rice dinners. For that I am partially to blame, as many times in the past I have struggled to incorporate flavor into rice dishes while at the same time keeping them low-sodium for El Gastronomo’s health needs. So, usually I dread making rice because I know that they will probably not like it. So there ya go, the backstory. Any-who….I was faced with the challenge of meeting three separate requests: that the rice would not contain beans (Friar Tyst), that the rice would actually be good (La Critico,) and that the rice dish would be completely different than anything I had made before (Queenbee & The Health Inspector). This meant that I could not include beans or tomato products, or include ingredients that I have used in the past. Impossible you say? Yes, it was, until….I decided to put aside all apprehension and go wild, to begin combining random ingredients and hope for the best. Crazy, right? No way it could work, right? Wrong! Okay, most of the time this would be the wrong approach, but in this case, it worked beautifully….and I thought I would share it with you, my beloved audience.:) Let’s cook!

The Ingredients: 2 cups brown rice, 1 cup cooking water, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 8 cloves fresh garlic, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. tomato paste (optional)1 can whole kernel corn, 1 can diced green chilies, 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, 6-8 eggs, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. oregano (optional), vegetable oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel four of the garlic cloves. Add the the four whole garlic cloves, tomato paste (if using), and the rice to the boiling water. Cook the rice for about fifteen minutes or until three-fourths of the way done. Drain the cooked rice, reserving one cup of the cooking water. Mince the remaining garlic cloves and saute them over low heat in a large skillet with the butter for two minutes. Add the rice, milk, cooking water, corn, green chilies, and spices. Place a lid on or invert a baking sheet upside-down on top of your skillet. Let the rice mixture simmer over low heat for ten minutes. Meanwhile, fry the eggs and grate the cheese. When the time is up, stir the rice well, then generously sprinkle the cheese over the top and decorate your masterpiece with the fried eggs. Let the cheese melt while you set the table, or just eat straight from the pan!:)

Let’s see what the popular opinion is on this recipe!

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, what do you think about this rice dish?” Friar Tyst: “Well it’s actually good I guess, and there’s actually no beans in it…for once.” The Chef: “I knew you would have trouble telling me how you really felt, but I’m glad you like it! (sarcasm alert).”

The Chef: “El Gastronomo, your thoughts?” El Gastronomo: “It’s really good, I especially like the fried eggs.”

The Chef: “La Critico, you are perhaps the most critical opinion here when it comes to rice, what do you think?” La Critico: “It’s better than your other rice dishes, the green chilies really give it a good flavor, in the future you could consider making it even spicier though. In the past I haven’t enjoyed rice because it was so plain, but this one is much better.” The Chef: “Would you eat it again?” La Critico: “Well I guess so.” The Chef: “…(does victory dance)…”

Isn’t it gorgeous?:)

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