Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mexican Rice

Events in our corner of the world move quickly and prove, yet again, that the indefatigable Murphy is alive and well and looking for any excuse to further test his law and all its corollaries. To wit, the washing machine stopped mid-cycle this morning, no doubt aping the control panel of the oven which chose to go black during preparations for last night's dinner. I sought solace at the computer, only to find that several small pair of hands had created a screen resolution previously unseen by mankind. My composure remained intact until dinner this evening, when our 3 year old grandson, whose dad is a minister, announced, following grace, that "Opa talks to Jesus lots." That, of course, caused me to choke on my water before finally surrendering to the limitations of the day. Now, back at the computer with the strange resolution, I have another rice recipe to share with you. Anyone who spent a portion of their childhood in the late forties and early fifties can tell you about Spanish rice. It was a commonly served dish that was as good or bad as the cook who made it. Most versions of the rice were made with tomato soup and ground beef that could be quickly assembled and on the table in minutes. A few lucky souls got to have a more authentic Mexican rice which was considerably more flavorful than its Spanish cousin. There is a fine line that separates the two. Most people believe Spanish rice gets its color from saffron, and that Mexican rice gets its color from cumin and tomato. If you look at the large number of recipes that exist for both types, I'm not so sure that's really true. At least not anymore. The recipe I used as my inspiration was developed by Emeril Lagasse and he really blurred the lines between the two. I have altered his recipe to suit our tastes and eliminated ingredients such as lard and saffron. This is a great dish for lunch and I've yet to come across a teen age boy who does not love it. They accept it for what it is. Good basic food that's inexpensive and easy to prepare. I hope you'll give this dish a try. It's really good. Here's the recipe.

Mexican Rice...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Emeril Lagasse


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup ground pork

1/4 pound chorizo, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped white onions

1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups long grain rice

1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

4 cups chicken stock, or water

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup chopped green onions


1) Heat oil in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add pork and cook, stirring until no longer pink. Add sausage and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add onions and bell peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, salt, and turmeric, and stir well. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to low, cover, and cook undisturbed until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff rice with a fork. Add the oregano and cilantro, and stir to incorporate. Turn into a decorative bowl and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Beans and Rice Salad - Eclectic Recipes

Saffron and Red Pepper Risotto - Sugar Crafter

Rice and Olive Salad - La Fuji Mama

Shrimp Risotto - Coco Cooks

Spicy Tomato and Vegetable Rice - Chow and Chatter

Spanish Rice - Taste Tempters

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