I have been trying for a while now to perfect the secret of restaurant quality Mexican rice. My first attempt to make Mexican rice was to add salsa to boiled white rice. Please never try this. Next, I tried adding a can of tomato sauce and sautÃ©ed garlic, onions, peppers, and chili flake to cooked white rice. It was edible, but not Mexican rice. Then, I went to the Internet. What I found there was that Mexican rice is closer to risotto (which uses dry rice) than it is to stir fry (which uses cooked grains.)From everything I read and cooked, this is the recipe that works for me:
- 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or turned to paste
- 1 pinch of red pepper flake (optional)
- 1 small white onion, minced
- 1/2 of a small green pepper, minced
- 1 cup of white rice*
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomato
- 2.5 cups of chicken stock (go with vegetable stock to make the recipe vegetarian)*
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the pan and turn the heat to medium before adding ingredients
- Add olive oil, garlic paste, and chili flake(if desired). Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add minced onions and green pepper. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is translucent.
- Add rice and cook for about a minute.
- Add diced tomato, stock, pepper, and another pinch of salt. Bring liquid to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. It is a good idea to check the rice about fifteen minutes into the boiling process. If the rice is very crunchy, add more stock or water.
- Fluff on to a serving dish and top with a garnish of cilantro.
When making this recipe, always use twice as much stock as there is rice plus one-half a cup more stock. For one cup of rice, use 2.5 cups; for two cups of rice, use 4.5 cups of stock; for three cups of rice, and use 6.5 cups of stock and so on. It is traditional to use twice as much stock as rice, but for this recipe it is important that there be a little more liquid that can evaporate while the tomato/stock liquid is coming to a boil so that rice can cook fully.