Mexican rice in the oven insures a fluffy grain.
Potsie’s Mexican Rice
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
via Gary Walker
As I write this, it is my father’s birthday, and as you read this, it will be mine. For we both were born on the cusp of the seasons, a vapid mixture of fire and water, cold and heat. We pass at long last from the grip of winter into the new life of Spring. 56 years ago today, I passed from my mother’s womb to become new life for the Slusser family, to become the youngest, snarkiest, most spoiled little girl.
I was born with a singular will for most things, and as I grew up, learned how to go from the shyness of Winter to the fiery straight-forward nature of Spring. I speak my mind. I do as my heart wills. I live.
Part of my living involves my writing, which I knew from the time I was a small child I would always do. Another part of me likes to cook (as you can readily tell by now). I have worked as a cook, although not classically trained as a chef, I did do what the executive chef expected and ran a kitchen at one time. But that was long ago and far away.
After that, life got hold of me and I moved on from working with food to a number of other things, and a number of other places until about 12-13 years ago I came across a website called Recipezaar which was offering payment from ad revenue for posted recipes, and working as a volunteer at a Mood Disorders Community, I joined to try to gain funds for that NPO.
Jalapenos are easily de-seeded with a fork and teaspoon
While I was a member at that site, I met the most wonderful person named Gary, from Dallas Texas. We all knew him as Potsie (or Potscrubber) which was his nickname there, chosen in part because of the monikers given to members in the forums. But everyone there knew Gary to have an immense heart and singular wit and humor. And he spoke his mind as well. His very first post there landed him in the frying pan (a place where controversial posts are sent to die a slow weary death). But he is not a troublemaker. He just tells it like it is. And I respect that because he truly is a good person and someone I can honestly call a friend.
Saute rice until it has a nice golden brown color
Anyway, one of Gary’s most popular recipes that he posted there was for Mexican Rice which we are making today. Unlike heavy sticky rice made on the stovetop, his method involves baking the rice to get it to be nice and fluffy. as you can see in the photos. It uses an easy method of making a puree of the tomato onion mixture and it sort of melts into the rice without any bits and chunks, the way rice is prepared in many restaurants. It uses several jalapenos, which you might think would make it really spicy, but it is not so at all. But I say that with a disclaimer that my jalapenos are from March (early Spring), and as the year goes on, peppers generally are more spicy as growing conditions change. So taste your peppers to see how much you like, being aware that the rice will tame much of the heat.
Rice ready to cover and bake
This rice will turn out nicely fluffy, with a little bit of bite, but it is really easy to eat. Much like Gary and I, who both have a bit of fiery personalities, but deep down, we don’t have that much bite. We just think strongly of things, and both of us feel strongly about this rice. And after you try it, you will feel strongly about it too.
We both hope you enjoy. If you like it, please come back and leave a comment so Gary can know how you feel about his recipe. Me? I always like hearing from you guys. It makes all the effort put into PP worth it.
Potsie's Mexican Rice
- 12 ounces ripe heirloom or roma tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 3 medium fresh jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or manteca/lard
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place tomatoes and onion into a food processor and puree until smooth. You could also do this in a blender, if you need to. Use 2 cups; top up with water or salsa if needed, but do not use more than 2 cups (liquid ratio in the rice will be off if you do).
- Cut stems from jalapenos, slice them in half lengthwise, and using a fork to hold down the pepper, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then mince the seeded jalapenos finely.
- Rinse rice in a mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear, agitating the rice with your fingers, and allow to drain.
- Heat oil or lard in the bottom of a heavy dutch oven or large pot and saute the rice until it becomes light golden brown, stirring frequently; lower heat as soon as it browns so it doesn’t overcook.
- Stir in the minced garlic and minced jalapenos and saute for a minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Stir in the tomato/onion puree, chicken broth, tomato paste, salt and pepper, bringing the mixture to a boil.
- Cover pot and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir rice, (it should be getting pretty thick) then bake for another 25 minutes.
- Stir cilantro into rice and serve with cut lime wedges.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com via Gary Walker
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