My mom makes the best Spanish rice. When I was in college and just starting to cook for myself (my efforts resembled mad science more than cooking), I tried mastering this dish, and failed miserably. When I got my first job out of college and moved out on my own, I’d have my then-boyfriend, now-husband over for “theme” dinners. Italian and Greek nights were acceptable, Asian was not too good, and Mexican, well, I never could get that rice quite right.
Fast forward a few years, and I think I’ve finally nailed this recipe. It took a step-by-step lesson from dear mom, but I’ve got it down now. And really, it’s so darned easy, I’m not sure where I was going wrong! Perhaps it was just a “kitchen confidence” issue, but no matter, I’m a pro at it now. And ready to pass on this family recipe. You’ll thank me for this one…promise!
3 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 cup long-grain rice (you can use white or brown. White cooks quicker and tastes more authentic, brown takes a bit longer, and has a nuttier flavor)
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, diced (if you have cherry or grape tomatoes on hand, you can use about 1 Cup of those)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. canned tomato sauce (half of a small can)
1 Cup jarred salsa (I like the all-natural from Trader Joe’s)
2 Cups water
Put oil in a 1 1/2-quart CorningWare casserole (http://astore.amazon.com/re06-20/detail/B0016L4VD4), or similar lidded casserole dish, over medium-high heat
Place rice in dish and brown, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning
Push rice over to one side of dish
Add green onions, tomato and garlic to other side of dish and sautee for about 4-5 minutes
Add tomato sauce, salsa and water and bring to a boil.
When mixture is boiling, turn heat to low cover. Simmer, (about 25-30 minutes for white rice and 45-50 minutes for brown) until liquid is absorbed.
The Tomato/onion mixture will rise and create a pretty topping for the delicious rice underneath.
You can serve this with your next Mexican dinner, with grilled fish, or one of my favorite ways to serve it, for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Enjoy!