Yesterday, as I was browsing through the current issue of Saveur, which features Mexican cooking, I came across a recipe of Mexican rice, which inspired me enough to try it out. However, after following through with the recipe I seriously doubted that it was correct since it requested 2 cups of long grained rice to 1 cup of water and 1 small can of tomatoes, a recipe that likely asserts a heavy dose of nighttime upper arm exercise involved scrubbing a burnt pot. Also, I thought about adding this and that, and in the end it was a delicious red rice but had very little to do with the Saveur recipe. Nevertheless, delicious is key, right? Since I added saffron, I call it Spanish rice, not Mexican rice, since it reminds me more of paella.
Spanish rice (make 2 larger portions):
- 1 cup long grained rice
- 1 ts olive oil
- 1 small white (sweet) onion, grated (!)
- 2 garlic cloves, microplaned/grated
- 1/2 red sweet bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cherry hot pepper, diced
- 1 pickled jalapeño, diced
- 1 small can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup of hot water
- good dose of saffron strands, diluted in some 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 TB chicken bouillion
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
Puree the canned tomatoes with the hot water until smooth, set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot, and sauté the grated onion, until the liquid is evaporated (it is recommendable to use a non-stick pot for this recipe). Add the garlic, the peppers (hot, regular, and pickled) and the rice, and sauté dry for ca. 3-4 minutes (toasts the rice, similar to a risotto, and add more flavor). Then, add the tomato/broth mixture, heat through, and then turn the heat to low, cover with a lid, add the saffron/water, and cook for 20 min. Stir frequently. Add the corn and peas, cook another 2-3 min, and cook --- serve.