Sunday, January 9, 2011

California Beef Rice Skillet



This is dish brings back many memories of my years at home growing up. This was a regular dish that my mom made as far back as I can remember. Although I don't remember being especially fond of it when I was really young, it became one of my favorite dishes when I was older. Surprisingly, my husband and kids have really liked it, as well. Maybe it is the cheese on top- everything is better with a thick layer of cheese on top of it, you know!

I never really understood why it was called "California" Beef Rice Skillet- what made it California? It wasn't until the past few years that I became more food "educated" that I realized that "California" often refers to something having many fresh vegetables on/in it. Such is the case here- the veggies are place on top of the cooked, warm rice and beef and then the cheese is added to melt down over it all. Any number of veggies could be substituted/added depending on your personal taste.

 Serves 4-6.


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • sprinkle seasoned salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp sofrito (optional)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced finely or pressed
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, or a blend of sharp cheese, jack, colby, farmers or muenster or whatever other types you like
  • green onion, sliced for garnish (optional)
Ingredients:
  • Brown beef with onion, salt/pepper and sofrito in a 10 inch skillet. Drain off most of the fat but reserve approximately 1 Tbsp for the next step. 
  • Stir in rice and minced/pressed garlic and stir approximately 2 minutes, until rice is becoming golden.
  • Add in the water, crushed bouillon cubes and dry mustard and mix well. 
  • Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, approximately 25 minutes. 
  • Layer green peppers and tomato over top of the cooked rice followed by the cheese. 
  • Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese. 
  • Garnish with sliced green onions.

** Options- may increase the rice to 1 1/2 cups and use 3 1/2 cups water and 4 beef bouillon cubes. This is also wonderful with brown rice- just need to cook it for 45-50 minutes. 


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