Arroz con Cosas

4 servings

40 minutes

Monkfish is a “for instance” here, and what I’ve made most recently. Substitute literally anything (hence the name: “rice with things”). If it’s something that can stand up to pre-browning (as monkfish can, as can almost any meat, many vegetables, and even tofu), do it. If not (tomatoes or flounder, for example), add when the rice is almost done. You can use brown rice, too; cooking time will double, and you’ll need more liquid.


3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 pound monkfish, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 
1 ½ cups short- or medium- grain rice, preferably Arborio
Pinch saffron, optional
2 ½ cups chicken, fish, or vegetable stock, or water
Chopped parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges


1. Put a 12-inch cast iron or other skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons oil; brown the monkfish, keeping the heat as high as you can (there will be spattering), and not trying to brown on all sides. Turn off the heat and remove the monkfish to a plate.

2. Add the remaining oil and the onion and turn the heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, just a few minutes. Add the rice and cook to coat with the oil, then add the saffron and cook, stirring for another minute or two.

3. Stir in the liquid, raise the heat to high, and cook, undisturbed, until the mixture is at a lively bubble. Stir in the monkfish and adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles but not furiously.

4. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and a light crust has formed on the bottom of the rice, about 20 minutes from the time you added the liquid. (You’ll have to peek until you do it a few times and can just smell it.)

5. Garnish and serve immediately.