July 1, 2012 by Lauren
My step mother Maria Alba is from Southern Mexico and one Sunday a few years ago transformed my view of “mexican rice.” I was used to that red orange stuff that usually has those grey green peas and soft carrots diced in between. There’s nothing wrong with this rice but it’s just…meh. Turns out most of Mexico doesn’t eat rice like that. She makes hers with a terrific chicken stock and onion base. By the time it’s cooked it’s sort of mushy (the grains are separate but not too separate) and so full of flavor. Plus if you over cook it – you don’t ruin it.
We owe most of the development of flavor to the onions, they really set everything apart. Make sure to look through the pictures as I’ve included some helpful tips that should help you along the way. Once you make this I promise you that you’ll want to make it a major part of all your latin themed meals. This recipe is a “double” so you can easily halve it, but rice is cheap and tasty so I like leftovers.
Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click the picture to close and return):
Maria Alba’s Authentic Mexican RiceActive Cook time: 10 minutes Inactive Cook time: 30 minutes Yield: 6-8 cups of rice Recipe from: My step-mother Maria Alba
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 4 cups water
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic, chopped (optional)
- Chop the onion. Don’t worry about it being too regular, it’ll soften up.
- Also bash the bouillon cubes with the end of your knife (still in their wrapper) to bust them up a bit. You can add that straight to the rice later, but I like to heat some up with half the water.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a sauce pan and heat to medium high. Once warm add your onions and saute about 4 minutes. Make sure they get some nice brown on them.
- If you chose to add garlic, add it now and cook for 30 seconds or so.
- Add the rice to the pan along with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Keep that on medium high and stir the rice to toast it lightly.
- Once the rice is toasted add the water. If you heated the water up, add the cold water first then the hot. Let it heat up and return it to a boil.
- Once at a boil place a lid on the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes.
You can use this rice on just about anything. I love it for taco night and it makes GREAT day 2 nachos (just take your taco ingredients from the day before and put it over chips, add cheese and put into the oven until toasty).