Mexican Rice

When I asked my mom how she learned how to make this moist, Mexican comfort food, she said she learned by watching other Mexican mothers and from my father. She has finally mastered the art of cooking Mexican rice (a requirement for my dad!) and now I am trying to learn from her. I finally convinced her to measure out her ingredients to make it easier for me to remember, and now I can share this recipe with you.

The recipe is fairly simple, just blend up most of your ingredients to make a tomato sauce, and then mix it with the rice. There are two tricks to good Mexican rice: first, be sure to toast the rice grains slowly in the beginning; second, keep the lid on the pot for 10 minutes after the rice is done cooking. This ensures the moisture will be trapped inside, and your rice grains will open fully and make for a nice fluffy rice.

Serve the rice with some of the beef or chicken juices left in the pan if you are making either for the entree, and you will be enjoying my father’s favorite meal!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 coarsely chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup water + 3 cups water

  • 2 low-sodium chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes*

  • 1 T vegetable oil

  • 1 large garlic clove, halved

  • 1 1/2 cup extra long grain rice

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional, included in nutrient analysis)

*Substitute the chicken cubes for 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth. You won’t need to add the 2 1/2 cups water if you choose to do this.

1. In a blender, blend tomatoes, onion, 1/4 cup water, and low-sodium chicken cubes, if using. Blend for 30 seconds. Set aside.

2. Place oil in medium saucepan with lid. Heat, then add garlic halves. Brown garlic slowly, then immediately add the rice and stir well with slotted spoon or fork. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. This part takes time, but you need to make sure the rice gets a nice even golden color, about 3 minutes.

3. Then, add the tomato mixture over a low heat. Stand back and be careful, it will smoke a little. Stir mixture for about 15 seconds to mix in the rice. After that, stir in 3 cups water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add peas in the last 5 minutes of cooking if desired. After 25 minutes, keep rice covered for at least 10 minutes. Rice will be moist when done.

The perfect accompaniment for Steak with Peppers

Additional Information: appropriate for Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian (if vegetable bouillon is used), Vegan (if vegetable bouillon is used) and Gluten Free diets.

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