During the week, especially in the cold weather, I love nothing more than a comforting, cosy meal to come home too. My day job can be pretty demanding and I need something quick, not something that takes loads of prep as I would be eating at 10'o'clock at night - not good for anybody.
There is another thing, I am not always very organised (Mammy if you are reading this I know this is something you try to help me with, I am trying), so I often need to make my meal with whatever I have left in the fridge and my essential store cupboard.
Recently on such a night I came up with this:
1 Red Pepper
100g Rice - cooked
200g tin chopped tomatoes
100g pancetta or bacon
1/2tsp cumin ground or seeds
1/2tsp hot paprika
Cut the top off the pepper and scoop out all of the seeds.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 350 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas Mark 4.
Cook the rice as per the packet or as you normally cook your rice. I like to leave it a little wet for mixing in other ingredients.
Fry the pancetta or bacon off until a little crispy - I do not add oil, I let the pancetta/bacon cook in its own oils.
To the cooked rice add the chopped tomatoes, asafoetida, cumin and hot paprika. Mix well.Then stir in pancetta/bacon allowing some of the natural oil to seep into the rice.
Spoon rice into pepper, pop top back onto the pepper.
Serve and enjoy!
Delicious with a crisp green salad.
I use red peppers as they add a lovely sweetness against the smoky, spicy paprika, but in theory you could use whatever colour you have. No more than the quoted asfoetida amount should be added, as it does add a lovely onion flavour, but can ruin the best dishes if over used. I say use cumin ground or seeds as, I have used both depending on what I have in my store cupboard, same with the pancetta or bacon, and if you like things really spicy then by all means add more hot paprika. I beg anybody to tell me they miss garlic and onion in this dish.
It is also a great way of using up leftover rice or try any ingredients you have lying about, begging for something lovely to be made with them.