This is one of my favourite summer dishes – perfect as a BBQ side or packed up for a picnic lunch. This is a traditional dish from Brazil and I have adapted my recipe from The BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen.
It's called crazy rice because it has such a variety of colourful ingredients, but they all work so well together in this savoury dish. You could go all out vegetarian and leave out the bacon if you prefer.
I have been making this for years and it’s always been a firm favourite. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers. The perfect summer side for your next cookout.
1. Start by cooking the rice in a large pot of water (enough to cover the rice) with ½ tsp salt and bring to the boil.
2. Once the rice is cooked, remove from the pot and set to the side in a bowl, fluffing it with a fork.
3. Meanwhile add the oil to a pan and fry the bacon until lightly browned. Pour off any fat then add in the garlic, onion, peppers, sweetcorn, raisins and parsley. Cook until the onion has started to brown, which is approximately 5 minutes. Stir the vegetables into the rice and keep on the heat for a further 2 minutes until its all thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper.
Brown rice has had a bit of a dull rap over the years with Liz Hurley’s diet dish of brown rice and white fish the enemy of many a foodie! However, brown rice is actually really tasty and has a mild, nutty flavour and chewier texture. In a dish like this one, where there are lots of fresh veggies and a little salty bacon it comes into its own and creates a gorgeous side dish that you could eat all day long!
Brown rice is the whole grain rice with the outer hull removed but with the bran layer and germ in tact. It is for this reason that it is superior nutritionally; it has higher levels of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin B6, and is an excellent source of manganese and fibre.
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Nicki XBy Nicola Martin