Friday, March 29

Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican inspired rice)

Arroz a la Mexicana is essentially Mexican fried rice. Or what we as Americans would call Mexican fried rice. This is a flavorful pan cooked rice dish, which uses a traditional Mexican rice cooking technique. Creating a longer cooking time with a more flavorful outcome. This is a great dish for family dinner, get-togethers, or fiestas!

Full time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves 4-6

You will need:

1 small carrot, sliced very thin
2 cup very hot, not boiling water
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup salsa*
3/4 cup long grain white rice
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
optional: 2 tbsp peas (I am not using these today)

*Traditional recipe would use a purée of 1 tomato, 1 small onion, and 1 garlic clove. I just find the salsa more flavorful and texturally interesting.

Let us begin:

In a shallow bowl or pan, lay rice out as flat as you can.

Pour hot water over rice, only high enough to cover over it.

Let this stand for 20 minutes.

Drain rice and rinse under cold water.

Allow to drain of excess water for 10 minutes.

In a cast iron or heavy, deep, flameproof pan heat oil until it appears to be smoking over high heat.

Make sure all water is out of rice or you can cause a fire up. Add rice to pan and quickly stir to fully coat rice in oil.

Fry rice until golden in color, stirring and moving around often. This will take 5-10 minutes based on your pan and heat.

Drain excess oil.

Add salsa to pan and continue to cook over high heat, scrap bottom of pan to prevent burning.

Once pan appears dry, add in broth, carrots, and optional peas if using.

Reduce heat to medium.

Add salt, stir, adjust seasoning if needed.

Allow to cook 8-10 minutes or all liquid has been absorbed, do not stir.

Remove from heat and cover tightly. Let stand 20 minutes, do not lift cover.

Check to ensure rice is cooked to liking, if needed recover and let stand 10 minutes more.

To serve, mix well from the bottom and move to a serving platter, enjoy!