I frequent my local taqueria (taco shop) about once a week and I am always amazed of what the locals are eating. I am really uncertain as to what they are eating, but most of the locals are ordering from in front of the glass, and not from the menu. The items behind the glass include daily specials, ranging from chicken mole to things I have never seen before, and probably never heard of. What I do know is that most things seem stewed, or cooked low and slow, and in a really nice gravy, and alongside that to kick it off comes a nice mound of Mexican rice, beans, and a side of tortillas. That is what blows me away. A lunch before noon, and fine, we can call it a brunch, but that is a lot of food! Rice, beans, tortillas alone make one want to take a nap, and hence why I stick to tacos, but my attention is always on the Mexican rice and beans.
As many of you know, when I see something that so many love, I have to investigate, and figure out how to make it myself. So on a recent adventure (yes, it is always an adventure) to the taqueria, I ordered a side of rice and beans, to really figure out the rice. It is not arroz con ganudules, hence why I define it as Mexican rice. Simple ingredients with a twist of my own, this one is sure to please.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1/2 yellow onion, approximately 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup of plain tomato sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 chipotle pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup of frozen peas
- salt, to taste
Begin by getting a medium pot onto the stove, on medium heat. Add in the olive oil, and let it come to temperature. Add in the uncooked rice, and mix into the warmed oil. Mix from time to time, until your rice becomes a light, nutty brown. Once the rice begins to color, toss in the garlic, mix well, and let it cook within the rice for about a minute. Next toss in the rest of the ingredients, excluding the peas, and mix well. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, leaving only a bit of space for steam to escape, and cook for about 20 minutes.
Do not lift the lid, just let it do its thing for the 20 minutes. Lift the lid, and gently stir, lifting from the bottom. Toss in the peas, and mix again. The rice will quickly cook the peas. The goal is to have super tender, not mushy rice.
Now you are ready to plate and serve. I plated mine with my chipotle and orange pork tacos. The beauty about making this Mexican rice, is that you have nice leftovers for a day or so (if it lasts that long!). Enjoy.