Cinco de Mayo was yesterday, and if you live in northeast Ohio you’ll either 1) ignore it, 2) find yourself in a restaurant that wouldn’t know real Mexican (to say nothing of Tex-Mex) food if it jumped in their lap, or 3) make it yourself.
For the last 9 years, I’ve opted for number 3.
I guess ideally, I should have posted this recipe prior to Cinco de Mayo, but since I make Mexican food on a fairly regular basis – and you should, too – I figured it would be worth putting up post-weekday-reason-to-drink-margaritas anyway. Well, that and the fact that it’s the first time I’ve ever really made it successfully.
For some reason, Mexican-Style Rice, or sopa seca, is something I’ve never been able to master to my satisfaction. Something of an oddity, really, since things like handmade tamales and traditional chiles relleno pose no problem for me at all and neither of those dishes are what you could call “quick and easy.” However, since I was making enchiladas for the “holiday” (I found some wonderful organic, sprouted corn tortillas at our local natural foods store) and I’d just made western-style beans a few days before, I wanted some rice.
I wanted some good rice, and I found the recipe over at Homesick Texan. Lisa is a marvelous cook (her blog is where I found the aforementioned western-style beans originally) and I was more than willing to try her version of Mexican-style rice. With a few modifications – I like peas and carrots in my Mexican-style rice and subbed half the tomato paste with some homemade Enchilada Sauce while cutting back on the cumin – it was just marvelous. Not only did I love it, but Beloved, Jolly and Darling Daughter also ate it with great enthusiasm.
Really. Good. Stuff.
Click the image to enlarge
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth, preferably homemade
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Enchilada Sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the rice, chicken broth and kosher sea salt in a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or just until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Remove from the heat. Stir again, then cover the saucepan with a dry, clean dishcloth and place the lid on top. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, sauté the onion in the butter in a shallow skillet over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, enchilada sauce, cumin and peas and carrots and continue cooking until the vegetables are warmed through, another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove the onion/vegetable mixture from the heat and stir in the cooked rice, lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.
- Nutrition (per serving): 197 calories, 3.7g total fat, 7.9mg cholesterol, 347.9mg sodium, 313.1mg potassium, 35.3g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 3.6g sugar, 6g protein