One of the most classic side dishes found on Mexican restaurant menus is Spanish rice. This classic recipe usually contains tomatoes, peppers, onions and lots of spices. Unlike some of the more understated rice dishes found in many cuisines, Spanish rice packs a lot of flavor. If you've always been a fan of Spanish rice but weren't sure how you could recreate those flavors in your own kitchen, you might be surprised to find that it's easier than you think.
Before you make the rice, you'll want to have everything together and ready. It's easiest when you've done all of the preparation work first so that everything can come together easily. Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 cups of instant rice
- About a half-cup of diced yellow onion
- One red and one green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- One jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomato, not drained
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the oil as the butter is melting. Put the rice in and stir it a few times to let it toast a bit in the hot pan. Add the onion, peppers and crushed garlic. Stir everything around, keeping the garlic moving so it doesn't burn. Cook the vegetables for about four or five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stirring to incorporate them. Then, add the broth. Stir continuously as you add in the seasonings, leaving out the salt and pepper until the rice starts to cook through. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the liquid boils.
Cover the pan and reduce the heat to about medium-low, simmering until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. This takes anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the rice and your stove. Just keep checking the texture of the rice until it is perfect.
As you can see from the instructions here, making Spanish rice is much easier than you might think, even for someone who may be intimidating by cooking rice on the stove. However, if you aren't confident in your abilities to produce a dish like this on your own, you can still visit your favorite Mexican restaurant, like La Cabana Mexican Restaurant, even for take-out options.