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Spicy Beef and New Orleans Red Rice Skillet Dinner

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 celery ribs, diced, plus celery leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups chicken broth
One 14-ounce can tomato puree
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Crumble the beef into the skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Brown the beef, breaking it up with a fork, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Transfer to a paper towellined plate to drain. Reduce the heat to medium-high and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the skillet. Saute the diced celery, onion, and bell pepper in the skillet for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the browned beef, chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups of water, the tomato puree, rice, sugar, the remaining 1 3/4 tea-spoons salt, and the Tabasco and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Garnish with the chopped celery leaves (if desired).

Source: www.epicurious.com