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Pork Loins, Rice, and Eggplant Casserole

I wanted to make something a little different, something along the lines of a paella but not really. Paella has a certain formula to making it and as you probably have guessed by now, I do not like following formulas or recipes; hardly ever follow a recipe. Take note, what I present is only what I did and does not have to be followed exactly if you want to try it. Anyway, I started out with a paella type casserole in mind so I knew it had to include a meat, rice, and some vegetables. I kind of tend to stick with some of my trusted vegetables, so this time diced up some onions, green and red bell peppers, garlic, and a poblano pepper. I also sliced up an eggplant. Added about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and stirred it all up to cover the vegetables.

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I placed the vegetables in a pan on the cook top and covered them and let them cook for only about 6 to 7 minutes. I wanted them only slightly cooked, so they would cook the rest of the way with the casserole.

In a skillet on high, I browned several pork loins and thick pieces of bacon.

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After the meat was browned, I placed the pork loins in a terra cotta casserole dish.

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Topped with 1-1/2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water,

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1-1/2 cups of pureed tomatoes,

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add the diced vegetables,

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followed by a layer of the sliced eggplant,

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and topped off with the thick slices of bacon.

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I put it in the oven for about 10 minutes at about 375 -400. The temperature of our oven here in Spain is not very reliable so I just have to watch it more. After 10 minutes, I placed a pizza pan on top of it to cover it and baked it for another 30 minutes. I used round rice, which cooks a little different than long rice so I left it in for an additional 10 minutes. This is what it looked like when I pulled it out.

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It took a little longer to bake than I had planned on so by the time I pulled it out, I was late for a meeting so quickly placed some on a plate, snapped a picture, ate it really quick, and left.

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When I got back home, there was not much left in the dish and everyone said they loved it, except for Silas. At least he ate the rice and bacon.

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