Throwback to your school days - kid friendly Spanish Rice

In today's Star Advertiser, you can find the recipe and the story behind "School kine Spanish Rice" from columnist Betty Shimabukuro. It's a throwback to the dish that a lot of local kids grew up with and remember fondly. Shimabukuro said that the dish was served in cafeterias statewide. It's also a great way to re-use leftover rice that you may have on hand.

From Tiki's Grill and Bar, chef Ron Nasuti appeared on Sunrise to cook up the dish. He said that he thought the mixture was too soupy. But when he called Shimabukuro to ask about it, she said not to worry. It will all come together when you bake it in the oven. She was right. It's delicious.

Here's the recipe:

School-Kine Spanish Rice

Adapted from Hilo Union School

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup diced onion

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup diced green bell pepper

1 cup diced celery

2 (14-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed, or 1 can stewed tomatoes and 1 can condensed tomato soup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cooked rice (white, brown or a mix)

4 slices American cheese, cut in strips

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high. Add onion; saute until softened. Add beef; saute until nearly cooked through. Add bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sauce and rice in a casserole dish or baking pan. Top with cheese. Bake a few minutes, until cheese melts. Serves 6.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.