I have found the recipe for Mexican rice to be so useful - we have it a lot as accompaniment to all different types of protein - that I thought it was about time I gave it the credit it deserves and blogged the recipe!
Here's some examples of where I've used it ....
with Quorn Southern Fried (which get baked) flavour nuggets ...
with sausage incorporated into it ...
with a Mexican style baked lime chicken and side salad ...
with fajitas ...
and even with a fried egg & avocado, for lunch!
As you can see, it's a great accompaniment to all kinds of Mexican inspired dishes. I love it - and it can be taken up a few notches with the addition of beans, or mushrooms, or peppers, anything you like really! I tend, these days, to add a red or yellow pepper as a matter of course, anything to increase the vegetable intake of the menfolk. They love the spicy flavours and the Mexicana cheese that melts on top, so any additional veg tends to just get eaten along the way.
If you can't find Spanish rice, paella or short grain rice is an acceptable substitute. Oh and interestingly (well you might not find it interesting, but I thought it was!) and while we're talking about rice, I discovered today the difference between Mexican and Spanish rice dishes. For ages I've thought they were one and the same, however it seems that the Mexican is red (because of the tomato) and the Spanish is yellow (because of the saffron and no tomato). So there, now you know. You'll thank me one day when you're at a pub quiz and that question comes up. LOL
MEXICAN RICE (serves 4)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 bell pepper (any colour), diced
150g Spanish or Paella style rice
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
half a tsp ground cumin
half a tsp garlic granules
1 tsp chicken stock powder
half a tsp vegetable stock powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
two thirds of the empty tomato tin of hot water
100g of Mexicana cheese, sliced finely
3 spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal, as garnish.
In a deep saucepan or wok (non-stick is great), heat the rapeseed oil and add the onion and pepper. Fry over a medium heat until the onion is soft and the pepper has begun to soften.
Add the butter and rice and continue to cook, so as to achieve a toasted effect on the majority of the rice.
Add the chilli powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, garlic granules, stock powder and black pepper and stir through.
Add the chopped tomatoes and a two thirds of a tomato tin of hot water and stir through. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, over a slightly reduced heat, until the rice is 99% cooked and the liquid has reduced and thickened. You may find you need to add a little more water before the rice is finally ready for the next stage.
Turn the heat off and lay the Mexicana cheese on the surface of the rice. Sprinkle the spring onion over the top and replace the lid. Some 10 minutes later, once the cheese has had time to melt, serve.