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Rice Stuffing

Recipe from Pico’s, Houston

By March 1995Comments

1/4 cup raw peanuts
2 medium tomatoes, roasted, peeled, and seeded (or canned tomatoes, seeded and peeled but not roasted)
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock (approximately)
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup long-grain white rice
3/4 cup wild rice (or use all wild rice)
2 tablespoons raisins
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
Seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate (or 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in small amount of cream sherry) for garnish
Sprigs of flat parsley for garnish

Cook peanuts in reserved oil from previous recipe until golden brown. Remove from heat, let cool, and take skins off; reserve oil. Combine peanuts, tomatoes, and onion-garlic mixture in a blender and purée. Combine peanut mixture, 1/2 cup of reserved oil, and enough vegetable stock to make 2 quarts in an ovenproof stock pot. Add vinegar, sugar, white pepper, and bay leaf and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, about 1 or 2 hours. Remove bay leaf.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dry-roast almonds for 15 to 20 minutes and set aside. Add rice to stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring to keep rice from sticking. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Remove from oven and stir in almonds, raisins, and olives. Cover and keep warm.

To serve, fluff rice mixture and fill chiles; do not overstuff. Warm in oven if desired, or serve chilled or at room temperature. Put about a 1/4 cup of walnut sauce on each plate and arrange 2 peppers on top of sauce. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or cranberries and parsley. Serves 4.

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