Arroz moro is the perfect festive side dish to accompany turkey, pork, chicken, or beef in any buffet, especially during the holiday season. It is very easy to make, every bite is bursting with flavor, and it keeps well…so what more could one ask for? It’s very probable that you have most of the ingredients to make it in your kitchen already, but if you don’t, feel free to substitute any of the them or to change them to suit your taste.
Dark cola is a must if you want to give this dish a pretty tanned color and a hint of sweetness (it´s amazing how the sugar in the cola is almost imperceptible in the rice). If you want to avoid the cola, use plain water or vegetable stock instead, but for me it’s not the same without it. I like golden raisins but sometimes I use dark ones, or dried cranberries, or dried cherries. The bell pepper can be yellow or orange, to give the rice its vibrant color. Bacon is always a great addition and a fantastic flavor enhancer. Fry two or three slices of chopped bacon in the saucepan, transfer to a dish covered with paper towels, and proceed with the recipe, adding the bacon with the rice. At this moment you may also add 1/2 cup green or black chopped olives (or a combination), for extra flavor, but in this case be very careful with the salt when you season the rice. For a quick change, use orzo, red quinoa, or Israeli couscous instead of angel hair pasta. They will look beautiful in the rice, and will give the impression that you have been working for hours in the kitchen.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup angel hair pasta, broken in 1 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 cups rice
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 2¾ cups boiling coke
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the pasta and fry until golden brown.
- Add the garlic and rice. Stir and add bell pepper, raisins, boiling coke, and salt.
- Bring to a boil. Put the lid on, lower the heat and cook, undisturbed, for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Fluff with a fork. Add the pecans, and serve immediately.