Before we talk about rice, I need to say a few things about the Olympians. First, congratulations, Michael Phelps, for a job well done–you’re pretty darn amazing. Second, the USA’s women gymnasts are incredible. Third, May-Treanor and Walsh? Congrats for holding your own against the Chinese–they were tough opponents. Fourth, good job Missy Franklin; you’re on the road to an awesome swimming career. So, good job USA–you’ve had some amazing victories! And overall, good job to all of the Olympians for their monumental achievements.
Okay, enough about that. Now onto rice.
This is one of my favorite recipes for Mexican rice, and most definitely my most used one. It’s simple, fresh, reliable, and from one of my favorite chefs of Mexican cuisine, Rick Bayless. The salsa is a crucial element to the rice because it is its main source of flavour. Homemade is preferred, but I’ve actually been pretty succesful in finding a cheap, tasty salsa in the Mexican aisle of my grocery store. And, of course, the scallions are optional, but they really do add a nice touch of freshness to finish off the dish. However you make it, be sure to serve it with homemade Mexican beans–the combination is stellar!
I was fooling around with various filters and took this pretty neat picture of my dog, Lovey. She’s a real sweetheart!
Classic Mexican Red Rice
Inspired by Rick Bayless
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups long-grain rice*
1 cup homemade salsa**
1 cup sodium-free vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 very large scallion, optional
First preheat your oven to 350 F. In a medium-sized, oven-proof pot,*** heat up the oil over medium heat. Pour in the rice and stir. Stir constantly over medium heat until the majority of the rice is chalky–this can take 15-20 minutes.
Pour in the salsa and stir constantly for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, water, and salt. Stir well and make sure none of the rice is stuck to the sides of the pot above the water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and allow to sit, covered, for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and fold in the scallions. Serve with pinto beans and a green salad.
*I use Jasmine rice, though I really would like to try long-grain brown rice at some point. If somebody does it before me, let me know how it turns out in the comments! I would expect you might need a bit of additional water and cooking time.
**To make things easier, you can always use store-bought. Keep in mind that the main flavour of the rice is that of the salsa.
***Alternatively, you can do all of this on the stove; just be sure to keep the heat so that the rice is just simmering during the 30 minute cooking time. Otherwise, it will burn on the bottom of the pan.