I just returned two days ago from a lecture tour where I taught in England and Portugal. I love England and my students there and I always have a good time. And I've wanted to go to Portugal for a very long time and it exceeded my expectations. The people were warm and friendly, Lisbon and the nearby beaches are beautiful and the food was incredible! I've come back with a hunger for more Portuguese food and my very first attempts were Portuguese Tomato Rice and Pasteis or Salt Cod Fritters. Today, I'm going to post the Rice Recipe and tomorrow, I will post the Cod Fritters recipe, although I have to warn you that I couldn't find Salt Cod or Bacalhau at my local grocery store, so I used fresh Cod that I had in the freezer instead. I'm going to run over to Pike Place Market later this week to get some of the real dried Cod and make them again, more authentically.
I actually had Portuguese Tomato Rice several times while there and got the recipe from one of my new Portuguese friends. She told me that it was a simple recipe - Rice, fresh Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic and Chicken Broth. The slightly more complicated version involves peeling and seeding the Tomato, but I liked it fine with the peels and seeds in it. Take the time to do this extra step if you want a sleeker final version. Portuguese Tomato Rice is served just a bit soupy and garnished with either Cilantro or Parsley - it is so delicious and is a great accompaniment to many main dishes! Plus it's very easy to make and that's always a good thing.
Portuguese Tomato Rice
1 cup Rice (I used Paella Rice)
2 cups Chicken Broth (water with a chicken bouillon cube is standard)
2 large Tomatoes chopped fine (can also use canned without liquid equal to 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 large yellow Onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 large Garlic Clove, minced fine
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
Parsley or Cilantro to garnish
In a heavy pot, heat the Olive Oil and add in the Onions. Stir and cook until Onion pieces start becoming translucent. Then add in the Garlic and cook until you can smell the Garlic fragrance, stirring constantly. Add in the Rice and cook until it becomes slightly opaque. Then add in the Tomatoes and cook until a thick sauce forms. Pour in the Chicken Broth and add in the Tomato Paste and mix in thoroughly. Then bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook on low heat for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl (or individual bowls) and top with Parley or Cilantro.
Five Element Analysis
Rice belongs to the Metal Element and the Garlic and Onions add even more. The Chicken Broth contributes the Wood Element and the Tomatoes add in the Fire Element. Serving this Rice with Cod Fritters makes this meal balanced as the Cod brings in the Water Element and the Potatoes make sure the Earth Element is also represented for a Five Element balance. I would also add sautéed Collard Greens in the Portuguese style.