Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mexican Rice

Much like I have a life goal to make the perfect hash browns, I also have a goal to make the perfect Mexican rice—it's one of my favorite foods, and it seems silly to always have to get it from restaurants when it should be easy enough to make myself.

I've tried many different recipes over the last few years, and I think I've finally adapted one that's worth sharing. Last night I made it for the second night in a row, and now I want to share it with you.


Still life with ingredients

First, gather your ingredients:

4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons canola oil
14oz tomatoes (I used whole peeled tomatoes here, about 1/2 of container shown)
1 cup veggie broth (containers shown are both almost empty)
Cumin
Salt
Pepper
Lime juice
wine (not pictured, but obviously very important as a "chef's aid" if you know what I mean)

Instructions:

First—and this is extremely important—be sure to rinse your rice under cold water for a minute to a minute & a half in a strainer (you can see mine in the very left of the above image), to wash off the starch. You'll know you're done when the water runs clear. Set the rice aside.

Now, heat your canola oil to medium high in a large pan, and when the oil is hot enough, add your rice. Sautee the rice in the oil until it starts to get golden brown, about 6-10 minutes.

Rice, sauteeing in canola oil


While your rice is sauteeing, do remember to stir it frequently, but also take this time to dice your garlic, onion & jalapeno, and combine in a bowl.  Add tomatoes (and some of the tomato juice, but not very much!) along with some salt & pepper.

Next, you'll want to roughly puree this bowl of ingredients.  This was really easy for me, because I used my immersion blender, which I must say again is a seriously amazing invention. You can also use a blender or food processor. Make it as chunky or as smooth as you want; its great either way!

Blended tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic (this one is on the chunky side)



Now add approximately 1 cup of the tomato-jalapeno-onion-garlic mixture to the rice in the pan. It will cause a brief ruckus due to the heat of the pan, but mix the two in the pan & the ruckus will quickly subside. Also at this point, add 1 cup of veggie broth, additional salt & pepper, some cumin (to your taste) & stir to combine.

Wait until the mixture is boiling:

Its alliiiiiive! 


Then, cover & reduce heat, and simmer until the rice is done & all the liquid is absorbed. I always stick close by and don't bother setting a timer, but it should be the same amount of time it usually takes you to cook rice on the stovetop, about 20 minutes. Make sure to stir the rice occasionally while its cooking.

After the rice is done, turn off the heat & let the rice sit for 10 minutes or so with the cover still on. Then, take the lid off and stir/"fluff" the rice until it looks delicious, which should take maybe 30 seconds ... but fluff till your heart's content, by all means!

At this point, taste the rice & see if it requires additional salt (it sometimes does), and as a final flourish, add just a dash of lime juice, stir one more time, and serve this sucker with tacos or whatever you want.

Or, if you're anything like me, you'll end up eating it right out of the pan ...

The finished product. OM NOM NOM 





 

Please feel free to comment or email if you have any questions or if you give this one a try! 

4 comments:

  1. mmm, I'll have to give this a whirl!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any idea how to adapt this for brown rice? I love this (and used to make something really similar) but generally try to avoid white rice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Eileen,

    Yes, definitely! And kudos to you for avoiding white rice.

    Definitely stil rinse the brown rice (you still want it to be fluffy!), & when you're adding the tomato mixture + the veggie stock, use 3 cups of liquid instead of the 2 I used above.

    My recommendation for the ratio is that you use 1.5 cups of tomato mixture and 1.5 cups of veggie stock.

    Then, of course, you cook brown rice for longer than you cook white rice but I don't know exactly how long. You probably have a better idea about that than I do.

    Let me know how it goes! You have inspired me to give it a try with brown rice next time. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

 
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