Mexican Rice

I have a confession to make.  This food blogging thing isn’t as easy as I make it look.  Case in point is this posting for Mexican rice.  I had gotten home from work gearing up for an early Cinco de Mayo meal.  Roger had already done yeoman’s work with guacamole in the fridge, margaritas in the freezer and steak tacos well under way on the cooktop.  My job was simple this evening—make our favorite Mexican rice.

As I came in the door, I immediately took over as Roger had to head out to drive our son, John, to the train station as he was teaching a swing dance class in the city (the “Windy” one) that night.  Roger called out over his shoulder that he was really hungry and wanted to eat as soon as he got back.  I immediately got to work.

I took out my family favorites recipe binder and found that for some strange reason the Mexican rice recipe was missing.  Not a problem—I went to Roger’s laptop which is always fired up and searched for the recipe.  Couldn’t find it.  Now I’ve wasted 5 minutes.  I ran into the den, fired up my (old and slow) desktop computer, and pulled up the recipe on the fly.  As is my custom, I had over 20 pages of recipes for Mexican rice in the file.  I knew, however, that the recipe was the very first one in the file because I had moved it to that position after my daughter Sara had asked me to e-mail it to her at school a week earlier.  I thought it would be best to have it there so she wouldn’t be confused as to which recipe was the right one.  Rather than run the recipe off because I’m cheap when it comes to using ink, I jotted down the ingredients in my shorthand and headed back to the kitchen, now 15 minutes behind schedule.

I started chopping and sautéing and opening a can or two.  After I was several ingredients, not to mention several steps, into the recipe, it suddenly became clear to me that I was not making our favorite Mexican rice dish.  Uh oh!  I ran back into the den and really studied the recipe.  Not only was I was too far into it to turn back, but the recipe required baking the rice for 35 to 40 minutes after all the chopping, sautéing, and boiling of ingredients.  Gah!  I took a deep breath, counted to 10, and soldiered on with the counterfeit recipe.

Roger walked back in just as I was putting the rice in the oven.  I explained my mishap and told my hungry husband that we should indulge in a couple of margaritas and some guacamole while we took a few photos for the food blog and waited for the rice to finish cooking.  This occupied us for quite a while as Roger hadn’t had time to clean up as he went along (neither had I), and it was quite an exercise to clear space for the photo shoot.  Let’s just say the photos aren’t the best my official photographer has ever taken and leave it at that.

By the time the darned rice was out of the oven, the steak tacos were cold.  Hmmm… time for a second margarita while we warmed them up in the microwave.  Finally, my tired, hungry husband and I were able to sit down and enjoy our Cinco de Mayo meal.  I am sorry to report that while the guacamole, margaritas, and steak tacos were quite delicious as usual, the Mexican rice was mediocre.  Pbbbt!  I am posting my original recipe because the one you see here in the photo, in my opinion, is not worthy of the ingredients or effort to make it.  I promise to upload another photo the next time I make our family favorite.

Oh, yes, I really did move the correct recipe to the first position in the file—only it was the file I had at work, not at home.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Mexican Rice (the real family favorite!)

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  • 4 to 6 tbl. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (heated so that it is hot when added)
  • Cilantro, chopped – 1/4 cup or more to taste


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden.  While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

Stir in onions and cook until tender.  Add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Sprinkle with cilantro.

Source: Slightly adapted from allrecipes


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