Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Brother's Spanish Rice

My big brother lives out in West Texas, a land abounding in fabulous Mexican food, and he's been lucky enough to learn a few tricks of the trade from some of his hispanic co-workers. When I play my cards right, he's nice enough to share those tricks with me! One Christmas, he taught me how to make this Spanish Rice in our mom's kitchen, and now it's my go-to recipe anytime homemade TexMex is on the menu. Last night, we grilled skirt steak fajitas to serve over fresh tortillas and alongside this rice -- so good! Gosh are we glad it's grilling season again!
Serves 4-6

2 Tb bacon grease (or vegetable oil)
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup rice
3 cups water
1/2 can Original Ro-Tel (Optional: Ro-Tel with Lime and Cilantro)
4 Tb (2 oz) tomato paste
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add enough bacon grease to cover the bottom of the pan.

Once hot, add the uncooked rice, the diced onion, and the garlic to the pan. This will toast the rice and begin to brown the onion and garlic. Stir frequently, cooking for at least 5 minutes, until the rice is browned and the onion has begun to soften.

While the rice toasts, heat the water in the microwave almost to a boil, and mix the Ro-Tel and tomato paste in a small bowl. (the remaining Ro-Tel can be frozen to use in another batch of rice).

Once the rice is browned, pour in the water, and stir to combine. Then add in the tomato mixture, cumin, and salt.

Lower the heat to a simmer, and let the rice cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is done. If your liquid evaporates before the rice is done, heat a little extra water in the microwave to add into the pan before continuing to cook. 

Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve immediately.

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