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Bolivian rice

September 24, 2008
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Serves 8

Southwest Brazil, where eco-ranch Fazenda Barranco Alto is located, borders Paraguay and Bolivia. Ranch owner Marina Leuzinger makes this hearty Bolivian rice, potato, plantain, and beef casserole.

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs
8 tablespoons canola oil, or more if necessary
2 medium potatoes, cut into matchsticks
6 plantains, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. In a saucepan, combine the rice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 18 minutes or until the rice is tender; set aside.

2. Bring another saucepan of water to a boil. Lower in the eggs. Cook them for 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until they are cool. Peel the eggs and chop them coarsely; set aside.

3. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

4. In a large flameproof casserole, heat 4 tablespoons of the canola oil. Cook the potatoes over high heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until they are brown. Add more oil to the pan if they stick. Transfer to paper towels; set aside.

5. Add another 1-2 tablespoons oil to the pan, if necessary. Fry plantains for 5 minutes or until they are brown. Transfer to paper towels.

6. Add another 1-2 tablespoons oil to the pan, if necessary. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

7. Add the beef, bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, peas, and corn. Cook, stirring, over high heat for 10 minutes or until the meat is browned. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the water.

8. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the casserole. Add half the rice, half the meat mixture, half the potatoes, half the plantains, salt, and pepper. Repeat the layers. Top with eggs and Parmesan.

9. Bake the dish for 45 minutes or until it is hot. - Adapted from Marina Leuzinger

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