Monday, January 2, 2012

Stagger Lee and The Lee Bros. Red Rice

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice."
- T.S. Eliot

Sunday ushered in the new year, and my 2012 is looking most promising right out of the gate. 
  • I joined a gym
    • We'll see how long that lasts
  • My darling sister-in-law is moving to Nashville this week to attend pastry school here! 
    • I can't wait to have her in town...did I mention she's going to pastry school? It's not like I plan to live vicariously through her schooling or anything. Right?
  • I made a most delicious meal - my first for 2012
    • See most delicious meal and recipe below
  • And WE'RE GOING TO EUROPE in a month!
    • Vienna and Prague for a week. Must remember not to spend all my money on fashion statements before the trip to Europe, where I will inevitably spend more money once I get there.

I had a wonderful holiday. Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and the new year could not have been more perfect. All were spent with family and closest friends. There were many fond memories to treasure this season, not to mention the food was great (see reference to gym membership above). Needless to say I was the one doing all of the eating, not the cooking, this year. Which consequently means I have but one gem of a recipe in my back pocket to show for this holiday season. But oh what a gem it is.

I revisited the Lee Brother's cookbook tonight to make their red rice recipe. Red rice is a childhood favorite of mine, and the Lee Bros. recipe did not disappoint. In fact, I had a mother moment. You know how people will often say that you can tell what a girl will look/act like when she's older by looking at her mother? Well, it happened to me. After taking my first bite of this red rice, I turned to my husband, chuckled and complimented myself on what a good cook I was! Granted my mother has reason to boast about her cooking; she's the best cook I know. But my goodness was this rice not amazing.
It will give any home cook major bragging rights.

Matt and Ted Lee are originally from Charleston, SC. And myself, born in Georgetown, SC, thought it only appropriate to feature "Stagger Lee" as the beat to this eat. It's one of my favorite beach music tunes and reminds me of summers on the Carolina coast.

Here's to  a most prosperous and healthy new year!


Lee Bros. Red Rice
Makes 5 Cups; enough for 4 people

3 oz. slab bacon or 2 slices thick-cut bacon cut into small dice
1 1/2 Cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 Cups long-grain rice
2-2 1/2 Cups chicken broth
One 28 oz. can whole Italian tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. In a 12 inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until firm and barely crisp, about 4 min. Using a slotted spoon, transfer  to a sma