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1 quart water
1 cup rice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint low sodium chicken or beef broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne
1 pint chopped fresh vegetables of your choice*
1 pint diced tomatoes and juice
1 tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
1/2 tsp. sugar or honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup Marsala or other red wine
1/4 tsp. Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp. Ancho pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. Taco seasoning (optional)

In a saucepan or skillet with a heavy cover (such as cast iron) brown the rice for 3 or 4 minutes; add onions and other coarsely chopped vegetables. Sauté until onions are translucent, adding garlic during the last few minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, water and seasonings. Stir until boiling; cover tightly and reduce heat to low.

Cook over lowest heat for 30-40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, uncover; add wine and simmer over medium heat. If a sweet wine is used, the sugar or honey may be omitted.

If a thicker sauce is wanted, stir in tomato paste and cook a little longer, stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, pepper and garlic powder, to your taste. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a sprinkling of lemon pepper can brighten the taste.

*Vegetable Suggestions: celery, green or red bell peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, sweet Spanish or Vidalia onions, Mixture of vegetables should have at least one or more onions.

Variation: Turn this into a hearty meal by flavoring the olive oil at the start with a tablespoon of bacon or pork drippings (or leftover pan juices from a roast beef). Add a pound of cubed pork or bulk sausage and brown before adding the vegetables, then proceed as above.

Submitted by: CM
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