It seems like every Mexican family has there own cherished recipe on how to prepare Mexican rice. I simply knew it as sopa de arroz all my life. Although I often hear it referred to as Spanish rice. I am still trying to figure that one out. Either way, it is one of the recipes I receive the most questions about anytime I post it. This recipe is pretty much the way my Mom prepared her recipe, except for maybe the pinch of oregano that I add. To see more home-style Mexican recipes like this please visit my blog and say Hola!
Grapeseed or Olive oil canola or corn oil was traditionally used
1 cup of long-grain rice
1 serrano pepper left whole but sometimes I slice it open
1/4 of a white onion left in large pieces
1 clove of garlic sliced or roughly chopped
Pinch of Mexican oregano, optional
2 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
Salt to taste
2 cups water or low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules if available use the Knorr brand that is tomato and chicken flavor together
Small handful of cilantro optional
Fresh cracked pepper and more salt if needed
1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots mixed optional
Add oil, rice, serrano and onion to skillet. Heat to medium heat. After a few minutes, the rice will begin to toast. Stir as needed until the rice, onions and serrano become aromatic and begin to toast and brown lightly.
While the rice toast, on another burner, add the water(or broth) and bouillon. Heat on medium and stir just to dissolve the bouillon. Do not let it boil.
To the blender, add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the ingredients down so they will blend smoothly. Do not add any water to the tomatoes when blending. Once the rice is toasted, add the blended tomato sauce from blender. Gently stir to combine and cook for 3 -5 minutes or until most of the puree has thickened.
Add the warm broth to the skillet. It will come to a boil quickly. Stir gently, taste for salt and season with some fresh cracked pepper. Add the cilantro, reduce heat, cover pot with foil and then cover with the lid tightly. If you are adding the frozen peas and carrots, add them now as well. Set timer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, check the rice to see if liquid has evaporated. If it has evaporated, continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Remove the large pieces of onion and cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork stirring from the outer edges in to combine everything. Keep covered until ready to serve.
To use tomato sauce instead of fresh blended tomatoes is not authentic, but it is very traditional in many family recipes. My Mom often would use canned tomato sauce when fresh tomatoes were limited. The important thing is to get in your kitchen and just do it! Keep the traditions alive!
I have to confess that I strictly use jasmine rice for all my rice recipes these days! We love it and it cooks up beautifully!!