Basic Mexican Rice

Do you like leftovers? Do you freeze them? Do you put them in the fridge and then after a few days, you tell yourself “Oh, I didn’t know that was still in the fridge!!!” then end up just throwing it away? Wow. I sounded like one of those ads on TV home shopping channel!

Let’s talk about what you could do with leftover chili con carne. My previous post was chilidog. We ran out of hotdog buns and sausages because my husband ate them all! Yes, he liked it so much that he ate that for merienda and dinner.

How do you feel about burritos? If you don’t like them, you may have had a so-so or disappointing experience in a restaurant like I did. I blame it all on Tia Maria’s (Katipunan) but let’s move on because that happened in 2004. I would like to believe their burrito has improved over the years. Ristras‘ burrito was yummy, you should try it! They’re located at 5th Ave in The Fort, Taguig.

Let’s focus on what my goal is today, shall we?

The recipe I will share with you is an adaptation of Pioneer Woman’s Good Ol’ Basic Mexican Rice. It’s the easiest recipe I could find on the web that is supported by a number of other blogs who said they’ve tried it and it turned out to be tasty! I have no idea what authentic Mexican Rice taste like but I tell ya, this is gooood! I had to cook this using the ingredients I had. I didn’t have cumin or Pioneer Woman’s favorite Ro-Tel’s diced tomatoes and green chilies. Now, let me tell you how I cooked the Mexican rice. (Yay! Finally!!! :-D)

First up, I finely diced 1 small red onion and 3 garlic cloves.

I heated my pan, poured 1 tablespoon of oil and when that’s hot enough, I added the diced onion to the pan and sauteed that until they were translucent. Next, I added the garlic and sauteed that for around 2 minutes. Please do not burn your onion and garlic! That would ruin a dish.

I am so sorry. I forgot to take pictures of that step! I assure you, I did not burn my onion and garlic, I just really forgot to take a picture. Please believe me! 😀

Next, I opened one can of whole tomatoes and rinsed and drained two cups* of white rice (we call it white rice because we have brown and white rice here at home), can you see how cute our rice cooker is? 😀 It’s perfect for just me and my husband!

Next, I added the rice to the pan and sauteed that for around 1-2 minutes.

Next, I added the tomatoes.

Then added the chicken broth. At first I measured only 1 and 1/2 cup of chicken broth but while the rice was cooking, I had to put more because it was drying out and the rice wan’t cooked yet. I ended up putting another 1/2 cup of chicken broth! Pioneer Woman was right, she said to put 2 cups! (I thought that the canned tomato’s liquid could compensate for the half cup..but I was dead wrong!)

I added 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano and a dash of ground red pepper flakes (aren’t those chili flakes? Yellow Cab labels them as chili flakes — now I’m confused!). I didn’t put any salt yet because I can do that later.

I let that simmer for 12 minutes then I checked on the rice and made sure it wasn’t mushy/sticky (malata). You see, we planned to bring some to my mom’s house and if there’s one thing she hates, it’s rice that is malata.  Just wanted to avoid that today but you know, I love steamed white rice when it’s malata especially when you pair that with barbecued pork belly (inihaw na liempo) and ensalada then eat with your hands…daydreaming now! Wake up! Back to the Mexican rice..

The rice is cooked when you don’t see solid white stuff in the middle of the grain anymore. If you are still unsure, you can taste the rice to check if it still has a hard core.

The picture below would need around 3-5 minutes more. I left it alone. Oh wait! I didn’t leave it alone, even with Paella, I can’t leave the rice alone! I don’t like rice sticking to the pan (I know! Should have bought non-stick pans but my mom told me not to)! I checked the bottom of the pan to see if rice was sticking and if it was, I’d scrape the bottom of the pan and mix it a bit. I don’t really know how to cook rice in a pan, we have rice cookers for that!

When the rice was almost done, I seasoned it with salt then turned off the heat and left it alone. This time I meant it! I left it alone! 🙂 I had to! The tortillas need my full attention, I’ll tell you why in a bit. First, let me show you the tortillas I used.

Since the tortillas were from the fridge, I needed to heat them up. So I heated my grill pan and when it was hot enough, I put the tortilla in and then I began counting. This is the part where I needed to focus. I needed to count to 20! My husband has woken up and I was getting hungry.

Still….6…Counting….9…10……19…20.

When one side was done, I flipped the tortilla then began to count again.

1…2…3…4…5…6……..19…20.

Done!

Then, I brought everything (okay, just the mexican rice and the heated tortillas) to the table where the grated cheddar cheese and chili con carne are.

Then I started to prepare the burrito.

I know it seems as if you’ve been here for the entire day, cooking with me but it’s really very easy. I did this in the morning — before church! It couldn’t be hard, I would hate to be rushing on a Sunday morning. I rush to work everyday and I like my weekends to be sloooooow and relaxing.

First, I got a spoonful of rice.

Then got another spoonful.

Then topped the rice with chili con carne. Trust me, it’s better if there was a lot of chili con carne! See my picture below? I thought that would be enough. But NO, it wasn’t. I had to keep on adding the chili con carne after each bite. 🙂

Then topped that with grated cheddar cheese. Yes, I would recommend that you put more. 🙂

My husband folded his burrito like a pro while I rolled it like a spring roll! Hahaha! Enjoy!!!

Basic Mexican Rice

(Adapted from Pioneer Woman’s, Good Ol’ Basic Mexican Rice recipe)

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 cups white rice (cup = the cup they provide you when you buy a rice cooker)
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • Dash of ground chili flakes (or red pepper flakes)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat pan with oil and saute onion until translucent.
  2. Add diced garlic to the pan and saute for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rinsed and drained 2 cups of white rice and saute for around 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the can of whole tomatoes.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and season with cajun, oregano and chili flakes.
  6. Let the rice simmer for around 15 minutes (if needed, simmer for a shorter/longer time. It really depends on the rice you use.)
  7. Season Mexican rice with salt.

Breakfast Burrito

Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Tortillas (plain flour, garlic & coriander, corn — whatever floats your boat!)
  • Mexican rice
  • Chili con carne
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  1. For heating the tortilla (just in case it was stored in your fridge), heat your pan/grill (no oil). Please make sure your tortilla fits into the pan.
  2. Place the tortilla in the pan and heat each side for around 20 seconds if from the fridge, less if it wasn’t cold. Or you can just heat it however long you would like. 😀
  3. Prepare your burrito by topping the tortilla with the Mexican rice.
  4. Then top the Mexican rice with Chili con carne.
  5. Then top the Chili con cane with grated cheddar cheese.
  6. Tada! Now, fold/roll. It’s best to have one end “closed” to avoid rice/chili con carne/cheese from falling out.

Makes 8 servings of burrito

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One response to “Basic Mexican Rice

  1. YES! I always have that problem (as per your TV commercial ad, haha!) where i put leftover rice in the fridge and it gets pushed back then a few days later i get surprised that we still have rice pala! 😛 I’ll have to try this recipe soon… ever since i lived in California and tasted “real” mexican food, i’ve been wanting to learn how to make their rice!!! now i know! 😀

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