One evening, my family requested Mexican food for dinner. Cool, I thought. Mexican food is probably up there on my top ten most favorite food genres– or something like that.
It’s been a long time since I had made Spanish rice. And actually, I’ve only ever made it from a box mix. For whatever reason, the thought of making Spanish rice from scratch scared me a little.
Spanish rice pudding anyone???
Yuck. Just kidding.
So on this particular evening, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?
The first thing I did was research several recipes online to see if I could get inspired by any of them. When I am researching new recipes, I always follow this criteria:
1. It has to be easy. I just don’t have the time to fuss with any difficult recipe that requires my full attention the entire time it’s cooking. That’s why I’ve never attempted risotto! Ha!
2. It has to be made from simple ingredients that I always have on hand. There’s nothing that bugs me more than a recipe that calls for some really strange ingredient that I will more than likely never use again.
3. It has to be kid-friendly. I mean, 60% of my household is under the age of six, so if they don’t like what I make, then we have a problem. (Did you notice my mad math skills just now?)
4. It actually has to taste good.
If a recipe falls into these guidelines, then I am willing to try it out. And this time, it was so worth it.
This recipe for Spanish rice is simple, delicious, and it’s made from things that are almost always in my pantry. And my kids LOVED it. I was a bit hesitant; I thought it might have a few strong flavors that they wouldn’t care for. But as it turns out, they are big fans of strong flavors (well, at least the strong flavors in Spanish rice).
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 2 cups of rice (you can use either white or brown)
- 3 cups of stock; chicken or vegetable is fine
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Couple dashes of hot sauce (this is optional– I left it out and my husband and I added it to our own plate)
- In a large pot, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, brown the rice on a medium to low heat.
- Once the rice is browned, add the onion. Cook the rice and onion mixture for about four minutes. Be sure to stir it frequently so the rice doesn’t burn.
- Add the tomato paste or tomato sauce, stock, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the pot of rice and stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot and lower the heat.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, depending on the type of rice you are using. (Brown rice takes longer than white rice)
- Once the liquid is absorbed, check the rice to see if it is completely cooked through. Add some water if needed.
- Check for seasoning and let the rice rest for five minutes. Fluff it a bit with a fork and enjoy!