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Cuban-Style Pork & Rice

March/April 2007

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (56 votes)

Full of spice and exotic flavors, this Cuban take on the classic Spanish paella is an easy way to feed a hungry crowd. Don't worry if you have leftovers. They can easily be rewarmed in a microwave or combined with eggs to make a Spanish tortilla (omelet); or for a great cold dish, toss the leftover rice with cooked vegetables and a vinaigrette made with lime juice instead of vinegar.



READER'S COMMENT:
"This was wonderful even though I did not have saffron on hand. Added a little hot sauce to spice it up, but besides that it was awesome! "
Cuban-Style Pork & Rice Recipe

Makes: 10 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each

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Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons rum, (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, plus 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops, (3/4-1 inch thick), trimmed, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice, or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, (see Note)
  • 16 large raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined (optional)
  • 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or cooked green beans, fresh or frozen, thawed
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips

Preparation

  1. Combine paprika, lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, rum (if using), 2 teaspoons minced garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin in a medium bowl, stirring to make a homogeneous paste. Add pork and stir to coat.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork, leaving any excess spice mixture in the bowl to add later. Cook the pork, stirring, until just cooked on the outside and the spices are very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  3. Add onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until well coated with the onion mixture. Stir in broth, tomatoes, capers, saffron and any remaining spice mixture. (If using brown rice, also add 3/4 cup water now.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes for arborio, 30 minutes for brown rice.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Stir shrimp (if using) and artichokes (or green beans) into the rice. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Stir in the pork and any accumulated juices from the plate; scatter roasted peppers on top. Cover and continue baking until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed (if you’ve added shrimp, they should be opaque and pink), 10 to 15 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Saffron is the dried stigma of a saffron crocus. It contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color to classic dishes like paella. Saffron is sold in threads and powdered form.

Nutrition

Per serving: 257 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 40 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 5 g fiber; 257 mg sodium; 414 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (40% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Selenium (32% dv), Folate (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat


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