Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mexican Rice

Sopa De Arroz (Spnaish Rice)

Mexican rice was a mystery to me and until I had many years of experimentation,  I've made a few changes over the years, mainly to please my kids but the technique remains the same. I used to add lots of spices, including chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, etc...Now I Just throw a whole clove of garlic in the pan with the rice and oil, and remove them later after they've worked their magic.

Where a lot of people go wrong with Mexican rice is in the seasoning. They think any food called Mexican needs to be full of spices. But that is, "totally unnecessary!" Think about it. You need some variety on your plate, something mild to balance out the heat and spice of everything else.

I've found the only way to get consistent results with any rice recipe is to use the same rice and the same pan each time--especially when making a large quantity. I perfected my recipe using Lundberg organic long-grain white rice. So once the recipe comes out to your liking, always use the same rice.

Mexican Rice - Sopa de Arroz

(Makes 4 servings)

2 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth or water, if you're vegetarian)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup medium- or long-grain white rice (I use Lundberg organic long grain)
2 tbs tomato sauce (I use Muir Glen organic; it is THE best!)

1 In medium pot, heat olive oil and stir in rice (straight from the package--do not rinse). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rice is lightly browned. This may take 15 to 20 minutes. Throw in a whole clove of garlic at some point, if you like. They can be removed before the next step or before serving.

2 Gradually stir tomato sauce into rice and cook for a minute or two, then add broth or water and salt to rice. Bring to a full boil and stir just once. Put the lid on tightly, reduce heat to the very lowest setting and leave undisturbed for the length of time specified on your rice bag, usually about 20 minutes.

3 If this is your first time making this, take a really quick peek to see if liquid has evaporated and rice is done. Cover and let stand, off heat, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Garnish, if you like, and serve.

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