Charleston red rice  
  Meaders Xmas 2001  

2   cups   rice  
4   cups   water  
1   teaspoon   salt ,   or to taste
6   slices   bacon  
2   medium   onions ,   chopped
1   14-oz can   chopped tomatoes ,   with juice
3   oz   tomato paste  
2     bay leaves  
2   sprigs   fresh thyme  
1/2   teaspoon   black pepper ,   freshly ground
1/2   teaspoon   Old Bay seafood seasoning ,   or to taste
2   Tablespoons   fresh parsley  

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp. Pour off all but 4 Tbsp. bacon fat.
3. Sauté onion in bacon fat until transparent. Add chopped tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper.
4. Cook tomato mixture for 10-15 minutes, or until it begins to thicken.
5. Add tomato mixture to rice and combine. Season to taste with Old Bay seasoning, if desired.
6. Pour into a casserole and bake 15-20 minutes.
7. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems. Garnish with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.

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