Dirty but nice

There are all kinds of boxed mixes and "just add meat" meal kits on the market, but with a little help, it's easy to come up with something such as this recipe for dirty rice that's homemade and tastier.


The recipe comes from a friend, Eunice Fenchak, who had lived in Shreveport, La.

This is a meal that the men in my family, especially my teenage son, love. I'll often make it at the beginning of a crazy week when my teens' schedule will not accommodate a family meal. Everyone can reheat an individual serving of the rice when he is ready to eat.

When we're eating in shifts, I'll pick up a big fruit salad as a side, but if we're eating as a family I serve dirty rice with a big tossed salad.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium bell pepper, cored and chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic, about 2 large cloves

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1-2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups converted long grain white rice

1 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, onion and celery and saute until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Break the ground beef up into the vegetable mixture and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Taste the beef and vegetable mixture: It should be well-seasoned because the flavors will be diluted when you add the rice and liquids. Stir in the rice, chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 main dish servings.

Reach Karin Calloway at karin.calloway@comcast.net. See her prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on television station WJBF (Channel 6). Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karincalloway.

Cooking 101

I used Emeril Lagasse's Cajun seasoning when I made this recently, but you can find several varieties of Cajun seasoning in the spice aisle.

The spiciness varies by brand, so start with a tablespoon of whatever brand you are using, stir it into the beef and vegetable mixture, and taste. Add more until the mixture tastes right.

You'll want this to be a little more seasoned than you would expect, because you'll dilute the flavors when adding the rice, chicken broth and water.


1 pound extra lean ground beef

Converted long-grain white rice (1 1/2 cups)

1 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

Cajun or Creole seasoning

1 medium bell pepper

1 medium onion

2 stalks celery

Garlic: 2 teaspoons minced or 2 large cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


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