Do you guys get recipe inspiration when you travel? I certainly do. It’s one of the ways I re-live my jaunts around the globe. Hot on the heels of my trip to Mexico City, I’m currently cooking up all things Mexican in my kitchen. And since I love rice soooo much (as an Iranian I basically can’t live without it), I’m always interested in seeing how other cultures prepare the global staple. Luckily, I had a chance to chat with a food expert in Mexico City (Anais @thecuriousmexican) who was able to give me some insight about a rice dish she grew up on: Mexican Red Rice.
Prepared almost daily in most Mexican homes, the traditional dish (which is named after the tomato-soaked rice) can be served as a side or topped with a fried egg, beans and/or avocado when presented as a main. The ingredients and prep sounded reasonably simple when Anais described it so I decided to make my own version as soon as I got home. I already had everything I needed in my kitchen (YEAY I love when that happens), including the star ingredient: medium grain USA white rice…
I really like using USA rice because of its quality. Brown, White, Basmati, Jasmine… it doesn’t matter what type, I just know that when it’s grown south of the border I will consistently get great results. Fun fact: the majority of rice consumed in Canada comes from the six rice-growing states: California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas! The Medium grain variety is great for dishes that have a softer/creamier consistency: the grain is shorter and wider than long grain rice and, when cooked, it has a tendency to cling together. Perfect for a comforting meal — which is why I used it in the following recipe:
How To Make Mexican Red Rice
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 50 min
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of medium grain USA White Rice
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) of vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) white onion, chopped
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 cups (500 mL) chicken broth
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 cup (236 mL) peas
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro
- 4 eggs
- 1 avocado, sliced
Cover the USA white rice with hot water, stir and let it stand for a few minutes. Then drain the rice, rinse it with cold water and drain it again to remove all of the excess water.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the rice. Listen to it sizzle as it touches the oil! Cook until the rice becomes golden brown (10 minutes). Stir to ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Blend the tomatoes, onion, salt and garlic in a food processor (I use a hand blender) until smooth.
Add the tomato mixture to the rice in the pan. Stir.
Cook over medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed (5 minutes) and keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan!
Add in the broth, carrots, peas, serrano pepper and cilantro. Stir once. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed. DO NOT STIR. It’s tempting, I know, but leave it alone 🙂
- Remove the pan from heat, keep the lid on and let it stand for 15 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve it with a fried egg and a few slices of avocado!
This post is sponsored by USA Rice. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely our own. If you love rice as much as I do, give them a follow on Instagram @USARiceCan, Twitter @USARiceCan or Facebook www.facebook.com/USARiceCanada to see more inspiring rice recipes!