And I’ve been on a quest to duplicate the Mexican rice at my favorite Mexican restaurants for years now. Years.
I’ve tried recipe after recipe.
Ultimately, it was a combination of a few recipes I tweaked, with the help of a kind hispanic lady I accosted in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store and demanded she TELL ME ¿cómo su abuela cocinar el arroz? dangit! and by gosh….
I found it. WE found it. Rosa and I, together, we found it. Thank you Rosa!
Like all good Big Blue House recipes, you’re naturally gonna start with butter.
Not all of it, mind you. Just melt a couple of tablespoons of it in your iron skillet.
Then toss in one cup of white rice, and saute the rice in the melted butter, stirring constantly, until the rice is slightly browned.
Meanwhile, make your sauce.
I’ve tried Mexican rice recipes that call for a can of tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, or a can of tomato soup even. And let it be known forevermore that I HATE the tomato taste. HATE chunks of tomatoes in ANYTHING. HATE any and all red sauce, marinara, anything… with….tomatoes. HATE.
And Mexican rice from the GOOD restaurants doesn’t have any of that nonsense.
But this recipe? Well, Rosa down at the Mexican grocery store told me to use ONE REAL TOMATO. And Rosa knows. Cut it into large chunks….
And throw them into your food processor with a couple of peeled garlic cloves.
Add a little water — I added a 1/2 cup –enough to make the mixture into a sauce.
Add a teency bit more water — enough to TOTAL about two cups, when combined with your tomato and onion sauce — and pour that sauce into your browned rice sizzling in your skillet and stir.
And now for the secret ingredient.
Don’t you LOVE secret ingredients???
Rosa and I searched high and low for this magical, mystical jar of Pixie dust that would turn my rice into the highly addictive and delicious Holy Grail rice recipe of my dreams, and finally found it…
Now don’t freak out.
This isn’t good, and it isn’t healthy, and in fact, the ingredients list is straight from the pit of the unholy place.
But go ahead and stir about two teaspoons of it into your rice anyway. Trust me. Because when you eat this rice, you’ll fall. smooth. out. with your eyes rolled back in your head from the sheer exhilaration akin to what crack addicts experience.
And the reason would be, because there’s crack IN this bottle of stuff. Well, MSG, which is similarly addictive, but for which there is no 12-step program.
I didn’t know before I cooked it, ok? But this is why it tastes so good. And why you keep going back for more and more Mexican food.
To keep things in the true spirit of Tex-Mex, serve up your rice on your commemorative Staffordshire plate depicting the Alamo and the yellow rose of Texas, if you’re cool enough to have one.
Just pure Tex-Mexican perfection. Enjoy!
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