Authentic Mexican Rice Recipe, A Meal in Itself!
Great as a Side or by Itself!
Authentic Mexican rice is an easy title, but hard to prove. This one comes from a co-worker named Martha, although I guess I have changed it over time. I have lost touch with Martha-she made me laugh everyday for many years- and everytime I make it, I think of her and I smile. It is wonderful as a side dish with almost any Mexican food, but the leftovers are so good for lunch the next day.
Comfort Food at Its Best!
- 1 cup of long grain white rice
- 1/2 of an onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 cup of diced ham, any kind, even lunch meat ham
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, depends on how salty your ham and chicken broth are, so start with a little-you can add more later, if necessary
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 can of diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes, 10-14 ounce size, with liquid
- 1 can of diced, green chiles (I use Ortega)
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Put the olive oil in a large pot that has a tight fitting lid. Heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until the onions are tender, being careful not to burn the garlic. When the onions are tender, add the diced ham and continue to saute that as well. The idea is to get the flavors to combine. After about 3 minutes, add the rice and stir it in to coat with the oil. You are supposed to saute the rice until it turns a light brown, but I do it a little less because I am always afraid of burning it. At this point, add the diced chiles, chicken broth, salt and tomatoes(if using whole tomatoes, break them up a little). Stir thoroughly. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot with a lid. After 15-20 minutes, remove the lid and give it a stir. This will give you an opportunity to judge how much longer the rice will need to absorb the liquid, usually about 10 more minutes.
Don't worry if your finished product looks a little bit more liquidy than your normal rice dishes. It is supposed to have that saucy feel to it. After 30 minutes, remove this from the heat and take a little taste. This is the time to add any extra salt, if you need it. It is also the time to grab a bowl of the rice and eat it before you serve your family. As the cook, it is your responsibility to make sure that anything you cook is good enough for everyone else. This is just the cook's way of maintaining quality control! Leave the lid on the pot until the rest of dinner is done.
To reheat any leftovers, a minute or two in the microwave works great. This will serve up to 6 or 8 as a side dish and maybe 4 as a main dish. I know that the original recipe Martha gave me had some tomato buillion in it, but I stopped using it after I ran out of the first little jar was gone. Haven't missed it at all.