If you’ve read through my blogs or any of the books I’ve written, you know that my hobbies include traveling, watching movies and experimenting with recipes. While sheltering in place during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve expanded beyond our usual Saturday cooking day to two or three times per week. I’m posting this recipe for my Mexican rice since I received several requests.
I’m picky about my Mexican rice. I do not like greasy rice nor too many vegetables nor bland flavors. I came across a wonderfully written blog post in which the author shared her experience and Mexican rice recipe from when she and her husband hung out with a cook while living in Mexico. I followed her recipe. It was quite tasty, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. I modified her recipe to the following:
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
2 TBS + 3 TBS cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
½ medium white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 good size serrano peppers, seeded and finely diced (approximately 3-4” long, ¾” diameter at stem – or multiple smaller ones that add up to this size). Note: if you don’t remove the seeds, the rice will be super spicy instead of having just a bit of a kick! If you don’t want any type of spiciness (but also slightly less flavor), use 4 whole peppers.
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup tomato sauce (or 1/8 cup tomato paste mixed with 1/8 cup chicken stock)
3 ¼ cups chicken stock
2 tomato bouillon cubes, chopped
¼ tsp salt
½ cup peas (frozen or fresh; it’s not a deal-breaker if you prefer to leave these out)
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Rinse and drain the uncooked rice in a fine mesh strainer. (If you don’t do this, the rice will be a little stickier.)
In a skillet, heat 2 TBS of oil over medium high heat and sauté the diced onions until they begin to turn translucent. Then add the diced carrot and seeded, diced serranos. Sauté until the onions just start to turn golden. Remove from heat. (If you’re using whole serranos, skip sautéing them and add them with peas below.)
From here on out, have your ingredients lined up because you will move quickly through each step:
In a separate skillet (cast iron pan if you have one!), heat 3 TBS of oil over medium high heat and sauté the diced garlic. When the garlic begins to show signs of turning light brown, add in the uncooked rice and stir to coat with the oil.
When the rice is lightly golden brown, add tomato sauce and stir to coat the rice. Then add the onions, carrot and serranos from the other skillet. Quickly toss to coat.
Before the rice and garlic burn (no pressure), add the chicken stock (now your pace can slow), chopped tomato bouillon cubes, salt and peas. Stir as the liquid comes to a boil and until the bouillon cubes are completely dissolved.
Once this happens, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. You can peek after 15 to make sure there’s still moisture and that the rice isn’t over-cooking.
Leave covered, remove from heat and allow to rest for three minutes before stirring in the chopped cilantro.
We love to serve this with chicken fajita tacos topped with either my mango salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and a blend of shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheeses.
This dish or any other Mexican recipe will pair nicely with this Judy 25 top shelf margarita.