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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Pirate Queen's Spanish Rice

My ex-husband was Mexican. One of the big advantages of being married to him was that I learned how to make some pretty amazing Mexican foods. While Spanish rice isn't an especially spectacular food, it is a good basic that goes with just about anything.

He always preferred when I cooked, so If he knew how to make something really good, he would teach me how so I could make it every time afterwards. His Spanish rice was good, but he was the first to admit that I actually made it better than he did. It even became the number one item requested for me to bring to family dinners.

I still make this often with my family, and even with a big pan of it, there are rarely any leftovers.

The Pirate Queen's Spanish Rice

You will need:
2 cups white rice*
2-3 Tbsp oil**
6 Cups Water
1 small can Tomato Sauce
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
1 Tbsp Butter
Seasonings - I use salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin

*I used Calrose Rice this time, but any kind of white rice will work fine.

**We grow canola on the farm, so that's my oil of choice.

You don't actually need to have all of your supplies ready when you start - EXCEPT the water. When the time comes to add the water, you have only seconds to add it before your rice burns. The measuring cup I have in the picture is only actually a 4 cup, but you will need 6 cups.

In a large frying pan (mine is a 12 inch), pour in your rice and oil.

Stir until all the rice is coated in oil. They should all look somewhat clear at this point. Turn the burner on to high and allow the rice to fry while constantly stirring.

This is REALLY important. DO NOT STOP STIRRING until it's time to add the water. The rice can go from perfect to burnt VERY quickly. Trust me in this one. I have had to dump far too many batches in the garbage while I've mastered this rice.

When the rice is ready for the water, the best description I can give you is it will look and smell like popcorn. The rice will mostly all be white now, and some of them will start to look slightly toasted.

Now SLOWLY poor the water over the rice. It will pop and splatter a lot of you pour too fast. Turn the heat down to medium low.

Now add your seasonings. I don't measure seasonings when I cook. I keep each spice container continually shaking as I cover over the surface of the pan twice. Add the bouillon and the butter.

Add the tomato sauce and gently stir all the yummy stuff together. Cover with a lid. Now you can either walk away or you can get the rest of your meal ready.

Ten minutes later, the rice is happily simmering.

Stir the rice - it's best to use a spatula for this. I have used a wooden spoon in the past, but it's best if you can scrape the pan as you stir. By now, the rice should be getting plump. Cover it back up and leave it alone again.

Another ten minutes later, most of the juices will have been absorbed and the rice should be tender. Stir it one more time. At this point, you can turn the burner off, but leave the pan on the burner and cover the rice for about five more minutes.

Dish it up with your favorite Mexican main dishes and enjoy!

Tonight, we had tacos. Normally we would have tomatoes on them, but we were out and I didn't feel like going to the store. Notice how the cheese is UNDER the meat, so it can get melty. And yes, those ARE sliced pickles on my tacos. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it! That's another thing I got from my ex, and now tacos don't taste right without them anymore. Sliced avocado is also really good on tacos, but it's tough to get good avocadoes in Northern Middle of Nowhere, ND.


B. said...

Yummy! I will have to try this one too! This is so fun!

I don't know that I'll ever try the pickles on my tacos, but I may try avocado.