Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

~ Luciano Pavarotti ~

 

Simple but satisfying

During my trip to Mexico in 2017, I was surprised by the simplicity of traditional Mexican dishes. Like Mexican Rice. Except if you stir-fried it with prawns, or rolled it around salmon, I would always choose a starch other than rice. But I tried the Mexican version of that boring old staple, and I was bowled over. There are many variations of Mexican Rice, like Lime Cilantro Rice, but my favourite was a tomato infused rice with black beans and chilli.

 

Once you find it, never let it go

Home from my trip I spent hours on Pinterest looking for something similar to what I ate in Mexico. Eventually, I found this recipe for Mexican Tomato Rice & Beans from FineCooking. This was it! And it was easy to make too! I have made the recipe many times now, and can really recommend it. I make it exactly as indicated and it is flop-proof. At times I have battled to find black beans in my local shops, but I have learnt to buy more than one tin at a time and stock up. I have once even used red kidney beans when I just couldn’t find black beans. I have also used dried oregano instead of fresh, but the result is still delicious.

 

The Mexican Fiesta continues…

I have professed my love for Mexican food in my Drunken Beans post. The combination of drunken beans, Mexican rice and the other well-known Mexican toppings is a winning one. I don’t even need to have a tortilla – I just dish up all the goodness into a bowl and tuck in. But this Mexican Rice recipe is also my go-to recipe if I want to make burritos and I have used it as a side dish with spicy mince. As I have said before: Life without Mexican food is no life at all!

 

Tortilla with Mexican Rice and Beans

Mexican Tomato Rice & Beans

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Raghavan Iyer, FineCooking.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice I use Tastic rice
  • 1 tin can diced tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or less if you prefer
  • 1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped if you like spicy foods, leave in the ribs and seeds; if not, remove them
  • 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed (400g)
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t chilli powder
  • ¼ cup oregano, finely chopped I have used 15ml dried oregano instead of fresh
  • ¼ cup cilantro (fresh coriander), finely chopped If I use dried oregano I use a bit more cilantro

Instructions

  • Combine the rice with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pan stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.
  • While the rice steams, set a fine sieve in a bowl and drain the can of tomatoes. Pour the tomato juices into a 1-cup liquid measure. Add enough water to the tomato juices to equal 1 cup.
  • Stir-fry the garlic and jalapeno in the oil until the garlic browns and the jalapeno smells pungent, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the black beans, salt, cumin, and chilli powder; stir two to three times to incorporate the mixture and cook the spices, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomato juice and water mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans absorb much of the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, and cooked rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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