How to Cook Mexican Rice
A typical Mexican rice recipe might contain garlic, onion, pepper, salt, tomatoes, oil, and rice although these rice recipes do vary. Rice does have its own flavor which is why the spices in a Mexican rice recipe should be limited.
The rice is cooked in the oil but you should strain off any excess oil when the rice looks toasted. You might want to add diced carrots or peas to your Mexican rice or you might want to leave it plain with the subtle flavors of onion, garlic and tomatoes.
It is completely up to you and it depends which dishes you are going to serve with the Mexican rice or whether you are going to serve it by itself and how you like your food. Perhaps you want to add some chili for a spicy kick or maybe you prefer a milder flavor.
The Handiest Cooking Tip
One very important word of caution is to leave the lid on the cooking pot from the time you start cooking Mexican rice until the time it should be ready. Removing the lid allows all the steam and heat to escape. The urge might be strong because many recipes call for the ingredients to be stirred every few minutes but try to resist because not lifting the lid during the cooking time really does result in a better Mexican rice recipe!
Perfect rice should be soft and fluffy. If it is still hard, you can replace the lid and cook it for a bit longer. Practice makes perfect and most people have to make this dish a few times before they can make it just right.
Tasty Ingredients to Use in Mexican Rice Recipes
A basic Mexican rice dish will include onion, garlic and tomatoes, as well as some herbs and/or spices. Also known as Spanish rice, this dish is comparable to risotto or pilaf, although those tend to be chunkier, featuring more meat or seafood, chunks of vegetables, or other ingredients. Mexican rice, because it is an aromatic, seasoned, and rather simple dish, instead than being a vehicle for meat or vegetables, is better served as a side dish than the entrée. Consider serving it with enchiladas or fajitas, or present it with a simple grilled chicken leg quarter or lime and chili-marinated fish filet. You will find all kinds of entrées where Mexican rice would make a lovely component.
How to Start Mexican Rice
If you are considering this dish, it might be worth looking at a few recipes, so you can pick out the one you like the look of the most. If you are just curious about the basic Mexican rice recipe, then consider familiarizing yourself with the basic techniques and then you can decide how many or how few ingredients to add to your rice. The first thing Mexican cooks often do when preparing this dish is to cook their rice in some oil, with onion and garlic too. You will need to stir the rice all the time because you do not want it sticking, and do not have the heat too high either, because you want to coax out the garlic and onion flavors, not brown these ingredients.
How to Cook It Perfectly
Add some canned tomatoes and chicken broth, and perhaps some chilies too, along with spices like cumin or cayenne pepper, and maybe dried herbs like basil or oregano. You might like to use another kind of broth instead of chicken, or omit the herbs and just use the spices. Simmer the rice until it is done, tasting a little when you think it is done, just to make sure. If you are cooking other dishes and wish to have everything ready at the same time, remember you can keep the pot of cooked rice tightly covered and it will stay hot for about half an hour, so aim to finish the rice a little bit before you finish the other things you are cooking.
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