bits and pieces

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Simple and Scrumptious Mexican Rice

Last week we ate a lot of Mexican-y food. I bought wraps, thinking I would be a healthy and economical girl and make my own lunch. Clearly that happened only once, and I was left with 11 wraps to use up. Chimichangas happened, breakfast burritos happened, and I still have about 4 to go but they are increasingly stale and in danger of being tossed out. If I was feeling more chipper I'd have a bunch of wrap/rap puns ready, but I mos def did not have enough coffee this morning. Obviously, as that last pun was Juvenile. No B.I.G deal though.

But really - I made this rice to go alongside mango salsa stuffed fish.  The rice was muy muy bueno, while the fish recipe needs to be refined a bit. As it turns out sole is not the tastiest of fish unless soaked in butter and lemon Julia Childs style. I think I am going to attempt it with snapper or even tilapia or something and get back to you, my cherished 3 - 5 blog readers.


Mexican rice might be a bit misleading as this is more of a mexican-ish risotto as I used arborio rice. We have a lot of arborio left and I'm leaving Vancouver in a week so I'm busy trying to use up whatever food oddities we have in the house. Ribs are coming up next so get ready. I will regale you with tales of a medieval feast gone wrong, and share with you smoky cowboy bbq ready ribs. In fact, the ribs are marinating right now. I think I will make myself some tequila shrimp skewers to go alongside them.

Back to the rice though - this is a simple and easy side to serve with tex mex/south western food. Also - I made this twice, and TOTALLY over cooked it the second time and it turned into an overcooked risotto-rice-mush but it was probably even tastier. I imagine this would be even MORE delicious if you made your own salsa but at the time I had a jar on hand and I was lazy and hungry. That said this recipe is bomb. It's super easy, tasty, and only requires 3 ingredients (and a splash of olive oil). PLUS if you can make this, then you can make risotto.

ingredients:
2/3 cup arborio rice
2.5 cups chicken stock
3-4 tbsp salsa

other things you will need:
a frying pan
a pot to cook your rice in

  1. Toast your rice. I think this makes all the difference. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. add your rice to the frying pan and heat carefully, tossing and shaking to ensure rice does not burn or brown. It will start to smell yummy (like toasty rice). This process can take 5-10 minutes.
  2. While your rice is toasting have your chicken stock hot and ready.
  3. Once your rice is toasted to your satisfaction, remove from heat. Add a splash of olive oil to your pot and heat over medium heat. Transfer rice to pot and stir to coat with olive oil. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add enough chicken stock to cover rice. Stand there like a happy housewife/househusband and stir for the first minute or two of cooking. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Ole!
  5. Check on your rice every couple minutes, adding chicken stock as needed - stirring in as your rice absorbs the stock. After your rice has been cooking for about 7 minutes, add 2 tbsp salsa and stir in. You will want to stir this rice a lot as it is short grain rice - the more you stir it, the creamier it gets.
  6. Continue the check rice, stir, add stock process until rice is soft and tasty. Add remaining salsa on your last 'stock' trip to the pot. Stir to combine. You may not use all of your stock, the last time I cooked this I had about 1/2 a cup left over. Don't worry though - it's always better to have more than less.
  7. Set aside to cook for a few minutes. Using two soup spoons form little pods of rice (quenelles) and serve as a side to whatever texmexican dish you are enjoying.

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