Sunday, April 25, 2010

how I do the mexican rice

I have always wanted to make yummy authentic Mexican rice that is family friendly. I doubt this is very authentic, but here is what I have found that works for us.
To start, chop 1/2 cup onion, some carrots if you want, and measure out a cup of rice. I haven't had much luck in the past using brown rice for this, but now that I'm consistently having success with white rice I might just try again with brown, or even half brown and half white. I do suggest using white at least to start.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy pot, add the rice, onion and carrot and saute it all together until the rice gets a little bit "toasty." I love this part--bunging everything into the warm oil, stirring it around, and waiting it for it to change color . . . it smells good too.
Meanwhile, set out 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, and a little bit of frozen vegetables if you want. I really like the rice with veggies in it so that's what I do. It is really pretty with "mixed veggies" but today I only had peas. Also get out 1 teaspoon salt. (If you opt to use chicken broth instead of water just omit the salt). For those of you whose children like spicier food, you can use El Pato instead of tomato sauce. It's really good, but too spicy for my littles.
Once the rice is nice and toasty, add the water, salt, and vegetables. Let it come to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to very low. Cook for 20 minutes then turn off the burner.
When you are ready to eat, fluff the rice and it's ready.
Tonight we did make your own burritos again. Very popular with the fam (as were those cookies you see--I'll post about those soon). For those of you asking about the homemade tortillas, I hope to make a little "tutorial" very soon, maybe even this week.

Other things:
:: Dieter got a twin sized bed and Rainer is switching to a toddler bed. I'm going to put the crib on Freecycle. A bit poignant for the mama, but the boys are so excited! You can imagine our bedroom is even more cozy (crowded) than before.
:: I've given up on our local farmer's market for the foreseeable future. It's unbearably crowded, almost impossible to navigate with my low-end, unwieldy double stroller, and Southern Californians are not super friendly so I'm definitely not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about it all. So from now on I'll just be taking the boys to a park or to the demonstration garden on Sundays and it's going to be much much better. (I do feel bad about passing up on the local food but until our farmer's market becomes more user friendly, that is they way it has to be. Fortunately it looks like we're going to have tons of food from our garden soon.)
:: I'm working on a backpack for Rainer like this one. I'm having difficulties with the straps though, so didn't get it done. While I was working, Faith and I watched Supersize Me for the hundredth time practically, and we love it.
:: I can't wait to try these.

Have a wonderful start to the week, everyone.


Widge said...

I am actually drooling over your gorgeous green pot!!!
oh yeah and the food looks fab too :)

Irina said...

I love the pictures of your healthy, food packed dinner table!

Rain said...

Yum! I'm definitely going to give this a try. I'm sorry to hear about your farmer's market experience. Could you join a c.s.a? We have a small veg. garden and use a c.s.a. to supplement. With our large family we go through a ton of produce. Thanks for the link to the scrubby-what fun!

Denise C. said...

YAY!!! Thank you so much for posting Mary Beth!!! :)
I have something new to try this week!!!

Mary Beth said...

Rain--that is a good idea. I'll look into that. Thanks!

Jenna said...

That rice looks so good! Can't wait to try your recipe. I've made yellow rice before by just adding a dash of turmeric. But I love the idea of tomato sauce and broth (with mixed in veggies) kiddos are not spicy eaters yet either.
So bummed to hear about the state of your local farmers market--hope they get it together soon. :-( I think the CSA is a great idea too, hope you have better luck with that.

melissa s. said...

I was just looking around for a dinner idea, the rice will be perfect! All I have is brown basmati rice so I'll report back on it.

We stopped going to our farmer's market for the same reasons and opted for a CSA share instead. We do a half share to make it a little cheaper and then grow the remainder in our home garden. I have mixed feelings: I'm glad more people are supporting farmers markets but it is very frustrating/impossible to go with little kids.

Chris said...

I was never a fan of Sapnish rice, but yours looks yummy, so maybe I will try. And I think the scrubbie is a great idea. Maybe I will try knitting again...

sheer whimsy said...

oh, this looks so good! i like spanish rice, but i've never made it. now i can't wait to give it a try! :)

lisarenata said...

I think that is pretty authentic (and this is from a Mexican American girl that cooks Mexican rice pretty much every week). The only thing I can think of that you are missing and that it really adds flavor to your rice is a garlic clove. Add it at the beginning when you saute the rice, onions and carrots. I like using organic chicken broth on mine. another tip, try it with jasmine rice, it comes out fluffier and with a slightly sweet taste. and at our house we love to add a dab of my homemade spicy salsa (still have tons frozen from my mixed chilly harvest last year)

Mary Beth said...

Thank you Lisarenanta! I'm so happy to hear your suggestions and will definitely try them!

Gift of Green said...

I have the same feeling about our local farmer's market. I'm thinking "roadside stand" is really what I envision but the reality is crowded confusion. :)