Mexican Rice

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This recipe might be Tex Mex, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to ask the girlfriend who gave it to me. We were both living in Texas at the time but the recipe was from her family from Mexico.  Before you begin you will need a few kitchen tools you might not have on hand. One is an old fashioned mortar and pestle or a Molcajete ….. isolated mortar and pestle

I have started using a coffee grinder instead (one that I only use on spices – no more coffee in this one).  You will also need a large skillet with a lid.

The ingredients are:

1 clove of garlic

1/4 tsp. whole peppercorns

1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds

vegetable oil

1/2 large yellow onion (or whole med.)

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

2-3 Tablespoons canned tomato sauce

1 cup long grain rice

water

(by the way, all measurements are aproximate, this is one of those recipes you can tweek a little based on your preferences…the only important part is the rice to water ratio…which you will need to practice with to get it the way you like <moist or dry> we like ours a little dry)

If you are using the Molcajete (or regular mortar & pestle) place garlic, peppercorns and cumin seeds in the base and slowly mash together. (If using the coffee grinder you can do the same or just do the dry seeds and mash the garlic with a garlic press, then mix together in small bowl.) Set aside.

Chop onion to desired size (large if you want people to be able to pick the pieces out, small if everyone will eat onions). Warm a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the skillet. Saute onions until translucent. Add rice and slowly toast (slightly browning rice and onion). Add bell pepper, cook and stir just a couple of minutes.

Turn your hot water on until very hot, then measure desired amount based on rice package directions (aprox. 1 1/2- 2 cups). Dump the ground spices into the skillet then use some of the hot water to rinse out the container (I like to heat the garlic & spices in the skillet before adding the water). Then turn up the heat to med. high and add the water, stir occasionally until it reaches a full boil. Add the tomato sauce for color, then cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes. Remove lid and stir and serve. You could sprinkle parsley or cilantro for color at the end.

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