Brazilian Crazy Rice

Brazilian Crazy Rice is a real favourite around this house. I make it quite often, as it’s a good way to get more vegetables on the table.

It’s so good, several of my daughter’s friends have asked for copies of this recipe for their parents to make at home – my daughter likes to bring leftover Crazy Rice to school for lunch, and everyone has had a taste of it and likes it very much.

I said it was Caribbean in a previous post but in fact it’s from Brazil. My daughter is vegetarian so I leave out the bacon – you can add it in for a bit of smoky, meaty flavour if you like.

Since I am also against the cruelty to fruits, I leave out the raisins. I mean, aren’t they really just tortured grapes left out in the hot, hot, sun? Okay, so I guess it’s clear I’m not particularly fond of raisins!

I have made a few other changes to the recipe (which is originally from The Barbecue! Bible, by Steven Raichlen) and it seems to have worked. The original is obviously worth making too.

I use a rice cooker which allows me to make perfect rice every time – well not actually me, but the machine certainly makes it perfectly every time. If you don’t have a rice cooker, I have included instructions for making the rice.

Frying up the Crazy Rice

The original recipe serves four but we always want leftovers of this rice, so I usually start with 2-3 cups of rice instead of 1-1/2 cups. Sometimes we make even more, like we did for our November Saturday Open House dinner.

I was just browsing our cookbook shelves the other day, and discovered we have another book by Steven Raichlen, The Big Flavor Cookbook, in which he takes recipes from around the world much like he does in The Barbeque! Bible, but he adapts them to be more healthy and low fat. We picked this up as a “bargain book” at a local big bookstore chain.

We have such great luck with the bargain bins when it comes to cookbooks! Many of our favourite recipes have come from the bargain books section, so check out those bins or shelves next time you are out.

Belle’s note: This is one of my favourite rice recipes, too. I love that every mouthful contains loads of vegetables. This is always a big hit with children (well, except for our little one, who is always suspicious of any colourful things in food). It’s very colourful and always brightens up the table!

Crazy Rice (Arroz Loco)

1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
2-1/2 cups water (plus more if needed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or put through a garlic press
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
341mL (12 fl oz) can peaches and cream corn
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking the Rice

  1. Rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear, using your fingers to stir up the rice in the water.
  2. Add to rice cooker with enough water so that there’s a depth of about 3/4” of water sitting above the rice. Cook until rice cooker indicates rice is done OR (if you don’t have a rice cooker):
  3. Place rice and water in a large pot, stir in butter and salt and bring to the boil over high heat.
  4. Put a lid on the pot and reduce to low heat and cook until tender, about 18 minutes.*
  5. Remove pot from stove and let stand 5 minutes, fluff with fork and set aside.

* Check after 15 minutes and if rice is too wet, set lid ajar so some of the liquid will evaporate. If it looks too dry, add a couple tablespoons of water.

Making the Crazy Rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, bell peppers, corn and parsley.
  3. Cook until the onions are soft and start to brown (about 5-8 minutes).
  4. Add the rice, mix together thoroughly and cook until everything is hot.
  5. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
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