Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Red Rice with Chorizo

Red Rice with Chorizo

I heart chorizo. And if you live in my area, it's a little hard to find. Well, I take that back. Finding the Spanish-style is nearly impossible, but the Mexican-style is everywhere.

Mexican-style is uncooked and is in a casing. I've usually seen the casing removed and it browned like you would Italian sausage. The Spanish-style, though, is fully-cooked and more like a kielbasa or other smoked sausage.

The only place I've ever found it is Whole Foods. So when I was buying some grains from the bulk bins this past weekend, I couldn't help but pick up a package.

I usually use it paella, but tonight I decided to try it in Red Rice with Chorizo. This recipe, although not a lighter recipe to start with (honestly, what Rachael Ray recipe is?), but is easily modified.

For one, I cut the oil entirely. Especially if you're using an nonstick saucepan, cooking spray should be fine. The chorizo, like regular smoked sausage lets off a little fat while cooking. The chorizo I bought is fairly lean at 130 calories, 6 grams of fat and 0 grams of fiber per serving (3 points), but it gave off enough fat that I don't think it would stick.

I also cut the amount of rice. I would only use 1 cup for four servings. When you combine the rice, chorizo, corn and black olives, it makes a large serving. And because I cut the rice, I cut the liquid to keep the same ratio. The ratio in the recipe is 2:1, so I used a cup of salsa and a cup of water. The rest I left the same. In the end, I came up with 9 points per serving that ended up being much larger than I expected.

Want to make it lighter? You could use less chorizo or even eat a smaller portion. If you're still wanting to make it leaner, you could use a low-fat smoked sausage instead of chorizo, but I really think the chorizo adds something. And of course, if you can't find chorizo, smoked sausage would make good substitute.

All in all, it's a satisfying meal I'll probably make again.

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