Two things we always had in the fridge when I was growing up were: a pot of beans and little corn tortillas. We used to use pinto beans but later switched to these beautiful, silky white Peruvian beans. You can find them at most Mexican meat markets in the bulk section.
My dad grew up with tortillas and beans in Mexico. If you were hungry before dinner you would have some bean tacos or tomato tacos.
Im happy to enjoy such simple food! Even though I’m a chef with fancy techniques, I absolutely love enjoying my taco with beans. Maybe a slice of avocado or queso fresco to make it more elegant. The warm smells of beans cooking and tortillas toasting on the comal make it feel like home to me.
Rice was often there too.
In fact one of the first things my dad taught my mom when they got married was how to make Mexican rice. The man needs his rice! Lol
After some years my mom mastered it, without measurements. Just to eye. I had to convince her later to measure out the ingredients for me to learn. And now I want to share this Barajas family rice recipe with you!
Here is the recipe. but the how-to pictures are on the blog.
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.
That’s it! Keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days well covered. My favorite is to serve with steak con chile (roasted Pasilla peppers)