Saturday, March 9, 2013

Secret to Good Mexican Rice-Now With Pictures!

As a Mexican food fan, I've always tried to re-create those delicious meals at home.  I've had success with refried beans, taco, enchiladas, burritos and even sopes. The one thing I could never get quite right was the rice.

Mine usually had a great flavor but the texture was off.  The rice they serve is always light and fluffy.  Mine was like Mexican flavored steamed rice.  Not exactly what I was going for.

Fortunately, one of my best friends married a man who's family owns several Mexican restaurants in the area.  Matter of fact, that's how they met but that's another story.  He showed me the secret to making delicious Mexican rice at home & now I'm going to share that with you. 

Mexican Rice
1 cup white Rice
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small can Tomato Sauce
Water to equal 2 cups when added to the tomato sauce
1 cube Chicken Broth seasoning (or 1/2 package if using granules)
small Tomato (optional)
Peas/Corn/& or Carrots (optional) about 1/2 cup total.

Pour tomato sauce into a 2-cup measuring cup.  Add water and stir.  You may add 1 small chopped tomato to this and sort of squish it into the sauce. No big chunks should be left.  Set aside.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add rice and stir continuously until rice has browned. (that is the secret to this recipe)

Sprinkle with chicken broth and then add tomato sauce mixture.  Stir and bring to boil.
If you are using peas/corn/& or carrots, add now. 

Turn down to a low simmer and cover with lid.
Cook for approximately 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is light and fluffy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ethnic Food In SW Missouri-Part 1

Growing up in Southwest Missouri in the 60s through the early 80s, I can't say we had many choices when it came to ethnic foods.  We had a few.  But when I say "ethnic", I'm being very liberal. 

Most the ethnic food served in Springfield at the time was heavily modified to accommodate the local palate.  Meaning not very spicy and fried if at all possible.  These modifications ended up with surprising results, the best being Springfield Style Cashew Chicken and Mexican Villa's delicious spin on South-of-the-Border favorites. 

We had Imo's Pizza or Pizza Hut for Italian...
St. Louis style Pizza. Notice the square cut.
 Bamboo Inn for Chinese...
Springfield style Cashew Chicken...FRIED!  A local adaptation.
Same thing for Sweet & Sour...FRIED!
 and for Mexican, it was Mexican Villa
Chico Platter: Enchiladas, beans and rice.
Now I know these things aren't authentic, but I sure do love them.  I moved out of the area in the 80s and I've grown to love traditional ethnic foods with a passion.  I eat Japanese Sushi, Thai Pad Kee Mau, Guatemalan Pupusa, Vietnamese Pho, and of course, Mexican tamales, moles and even menudo.  Yes, I like menudo!  However, I sometimes crave the foods I grew up with.
Obviously, there are recipes headed your way! Stay tuned!