We have some lunch options around the Village of Eastside, but they get old pretty quickly. Homemade lunches are clearly the best, but it’s tiresome to pack one every day. To solve this problem, Steven, Yvonne, and I formed a Saturday Lunch Club. Each Saturday, one of us brings a casserole to share. We get a home-cooked meal, but only have to cook once every three weeks. It’s awesome.
A few weeks ago, Yvonne adapted this recipe she found on Rachael Ray’s new show about cooking for all week in one day. The original recipe called for chorizo, but she substituted ingredients that are easier to find at local grocery stores. We loved it and hope you will too.
- A generous pinch of saffron threads (about 20 threads)
- 2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds kielbasa
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup drained chopped pimentos
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/3 cup dry sherry or 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup broken thin spaghetti (1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces)
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Put the saffron in a small pot with 1 1/2 cups stock and about 1 cup water. Bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let steep for a few minutes while you prepare the chorizo and onions.
Heat a skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Slice the kielbasa about 1-1 1/2 inches thick, on an angle. Add a drizzle of EVOO to the hot skillet and add the kielbasa. Brown evenly on both sides, 4-5 minutes total. Remove the kielbasa to a plate and add another drizzle of EVOO to the skillet along with the onions. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pimentos and peas and stir to heat through. Deglaze the pan with sherry or wine and stir for 1-2 minutes. Remove them from the pan to the plate with the chorizo.
Return the pan to medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the pasta and stir until deeply golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the rice and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
Grease a casserole with the remaining 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Fill the casserole with cooked rice and top with an arrangement of the chorizo and onion mixture. Cool and chill as a make-ahead meal. Reheat by dousing the casserole with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock, then put it in pre-heated 375°F oven, loosely covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until heated through and barely crispy at edges, about 10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.