BR – Soaking before toasting may be part of the trick. I learned from a Cooks Illustrated recipe for pilaf that a good rinse makes a decent substitute for a long soak. Now, when I remember, I rinse three times and drain well before toasting rice for a pilaf or Spanish rice dish.
i’ve been married almost 8 years and i barely learned how to make really good Mexican rice a couple of years ago. The only thing I can tell you is to make sure you toast the rice completely in your oil or shortening/lard of choice. It HAS to be brownish/golden in color…definitely NOT black, that means it’s burned and it’s ruined.
I heat up some oil in a pan and add chopped onions and garlic. I toast a cup of rice then add very hot water or chicken broth. Typically about 2 or 2 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Then I add ground cumin(comino), a bit of Knorr Tomato Bouillion (aka Caldo de tomate con sabor de pollo "tomato soup with chicken flavor"), and about half a small can of tomato sauce. Cover it really well and don’t open the lid until 18minutes or so later. If you want you can add celery, peas, carrots, fresh tomato. I prefer it simple.
I learned to make mine from a fabulous lady that cooked at a place called Ruby’s Ranchito in Chico Ca–and holde is right–she ALWAYS started her rice by putting lard in pan and frying the rice in it before she added the rest of the ingriedients and she finished it in the oven–its great rice and very light–when i failed to fry the rice it really came out sticky and heavy.
I got this recipe from a Mexican lady. Try it and see if it’s gives you what you are looking for. It’s not very specific but it’s a start.
Soak the rice in water for about half an hour.
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet.
Drain the rice and add to the hot oil.
Fry the rice in the oil uncovered stirring frequently until it begins to change color.
While the rice cooks in the oil, puree a couple plum tomatoes in the blender with a couple garlic cloves, half a medium onion, a few coriander seeds, dash of s&p.
Stir in a cup of the sauce then cover the rice with water.
Add a cube of chicken bullion. Throw in a handful of frozen peas if you like. Stir the rice then cover and simmer until the water is absorbed. After about 15 min if the water is gone and the rice doesn’t have the desired texture you can add some hot water.
I add my tomato sauce at the very end.. Granted it increases the cook time, but the rice seems to be fluffier when I do it this way.
Mexican Red Tomato Rice
My wife makes the Rick Bayless recipe and the Diana Kennedy version.
I posted this in the "Spanish" rice section as that is what many people call the red rice.
Here is my "Mexican style" rice recipe:
1 cup long-grain rice (uncooked)
2 tablespoons vegatable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 to 6 oz tomato sauce (if you want it darker orange use the whole can)
2 cups water
2 tsp cilanto stalks & leaves (optional)
salt to taste start with a teaspoon & go from there.
Other optional ingrediants: 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 cup of minced onion. You can use all or some it just depends on the flavoring you are looking for.
Saut� the rice in the oil until it is a lightly toasted and golden in color. Add the rest of the ingredients & any of the optional ones. Add salt to taste, it should taste like a flavorful garlicky tomato soup taste. Bring to a boil, cover & reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the fire and leave covered for around 10 minutes to continue steaming. Once the rice cooks the cilantro rises to the top.
Instead of cilantro some people use some green peas, carrots or mixed vegatables for color or flavor. These items are added to the rice with the water.
I have been unsuccessful for many years now trying to recreate the rice I enjoy at Mexican restaurants.. I can’t get the seasoning right.. I even tried using a "tomato" boullion I found in the Mexican food aisle to season it with… it tasted more of salt than anything else, but the color was right. How do I get that tomatoey flavor and color? I’ve tried tomatoes, tomato juice, ketchup.. nothing seems right.
I think they fry it and then boil it.
I suspect the lightness may, and I stress may, come from using instant rice.
I have noticed that when I eat at some of the Mexican restaurants around here, the rice they serve is so lite. ( I mean the weight of it) Like it wasn’t boiled. When you pick up a forkful, you can’t even tell it’s on the fork. Do they steam it? Boil it then fry it?
Also, anyone know how to season it?
Mexican Rice…how is it so lite?
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