As taught to me in my Mexico kitchen.
We’ve always been great fans of Mexican food. Maybe it began when we lived in Texas while attending college, although money was tight and restaurants seemed such a luxury. They still are!
Somehow I learned to make tacos, and on occasion we would buy frozen Mexican dinners just to be able to savor that unbeatable cuisine. Later, when I became pregnant with our first child, Mexican food was my craving! Ay, yi yi! Back then, Mexican restaurants were not as prevalent as they are today! There was nowhere to eat Mexican food in the town of Moberly, Missouri, where we lived at the time.
Then when we were living down in Guadalajara attending language school, mornings and early afternoons were devoted to classes. I needed someone to help me get lunch on the table fast so we could get back to Spanish classes!
A tall sweet girl with a beautiful long brown ponytail was my lifesaver during those days. Her name was Felipa and she knew how to make yummy Mexican rice. Here is what I remember best about her method:
Felipa’s Delicious Mexican Rice:
Pour a couple tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet. Nowadays I use only light olive oil for all my sautéed foods, but any good oil will do.
Add up to half a chopped onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until translucent.
Half a green pepper, chopped, if you have it, will improve color and flavor. Sometimes I have a couple of pieces in the freezer that come in handy for this recipe.
Add 1 cup uncooked white rice, stirring until golden brown. Some cooks prefer long-grain; others like the more rounded. I’ve used both.
Add 1 ripe medium-large tomato, chopped. Fresh is best!
Add 2 cups very hot water, stirring in carefully so as not to get a steam burn. (I heat in microwave so the pan doesn’t sizzle too much.)
You can add a couple of bouillon cubes of any flavor, if desired; hopefully without MSG. Stir in well.
Salt to taste–usually 1 teaspoon or so–or less if using bouillon cubes.
When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to very low, put lid on tightly and resist the temptation to check frequently. Too much water may evaporate with frequent peeking.
Set the timer for about 20 minutes and check rice for tenderness. Rice that has been sautéed takes a little longer because the grains were browned, but that gives it the rich flavor you are expecting. Add just a little more water, if needed.
This rice is sooo yummy with tacos, refried beans, guacamole and corn tortilla chips. It’s also good with purchased tamales or taquitos, and really, almost anything.
I have often made it, without the tomato and green pepper, adding in leftover steak, chopped or sliced thinly. Leftover chicken would be another great add-in.
Let me know if you try this simple recipe. You will soon be adding in your favorite ingredients. And even if you don’t normally speak Spanish, it will have you saying “Olé”!