Just call me Gringa! It’s true, I’m a white girl. The most exciting part (okay, so admittedly, it’s the best part of almost everything for me) about living in such a culturally diverse state is all the FOOD. I had neighbors when I lived in the East Bay from the Southern US, all parts of India, Afghanistan, China, Russia – I learned to love Thai food, going out to dinner no longer just meant Tex-Mex, but real, authentic Mexican food… and speaking of Mexican Food..
So, let’s go back, say 18-19 years, to the younger, less jaded me. I would unabashedly ask moms from my kids’ baseball teams for their carne asada marinade recipe, their Spanish rice recipe, how to make those beans… I tried everything they told me. It never turned out. Rosa from my husband’s work finally told me she would NEVER tell me how to make her rice, it was a guarded family secret and that she bought her carne asada at the local carniceria.
I was on a mission. Well, I’m 47 now.. and… Mission Accomplished. To all those moms, bless your hearts, my Spanish rice is fluffier than yours, my marinade for my carne asada blows yours out of the water and my cowboy beans, well, the cowboys love them.
Let’s get to work!
Today we’re working on Spanish Rice. MY Spanish Rice. It’s not a secret family recipe. I’d even share it with Karen (even though I was told her 12 y.o daughter’s version of my cookies tasted better than mine, but I’m not bitter.)
2 cups long grain white rice (NOT converted or instant)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups chicken or vegetable STOCK, hot (I use homemade chicken stock, but you can buy a box of good stock if you don’t want to make your own)
2 cups hot water
1 – 14oz. can of Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°.
Pour chicken stock and water into saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Keep hot until needed.
Into heavy bottomed, oven proof pan (I use my dutch oven), add canola oil, rice, onion and garlic.
Cook over a medium high heat, stirring, until most of the rice is either bright white, or has browned and onion is tender, about 7 minutes.
Add tomatoes and stir quickly.
Pour in piping hot stock and water and salt and bring to a boil.
Cover, remove from heat and place into hot oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven. All liquid should be absorbed and rice will be tender. Fluff up mixture with fork and serve.
I hope you’ll make this to go with your favorite enchiladas, tacos, fajitas….
It’s Fall now, and on Saturday we said goodbye to the Farmer’s Market until April. I’m going to miss the flowers, the produce and my friends at the Market!