Thursday, August 6, 2009

White Girl Rice (Spanish Rice)

One of my most favorite things to do in the world is cook. Another one of my most favorite things to do is eat! And, my favorite kind of food is Mexican. I love all of the salty and spicy flavors. I especially love spanish rice and charro beans. Many times over the years I have attempted to make spanish rice. It would always come out mushy and gross. I tried recipe after recipe to no avail. I just could not figure out how Pancho's could do it and I couldn't. All of the recipes I tried instructed me to fry the rice in oil and then add water and tomatoes. In doing this, the ratio of liquid to rice made nothing but mush!

One day while we were at a Japanese hibachi style restaurant, Kobe's, an idea came to me as I watched them make fried rice. I began experimenting with frying cooked rice and developed a recipe that gave me perfect consistency every time. Since then, I have been making this rice with all of our mexican dinners. After sharing the rice with my friends, I am often asked to bring it as side dish to various parties that we attend.

You may be curious about why it is called "white girl rice". It is actually a label that was lovingly attached by my hispanic friends, Melissa & Tony. Melissa asks me to make the rice any time we attend one of their parties. At one of the parties, her family and other hispanic friends kept asking "who made the rice?" Being that Jeff and I are usually the only white folks at her parties, she replies "the white girl."

I have been asked many times for this recipe and I never mind sharing recipes, however, I have never taken the time to write it down. Here is the long awaited brain dump for white girl rice exactly as I prepare it!


2 C. Jasmine Rice
1 C. Chopped Carrots
1 C. Chopped Onions
1 Lg Can Diced Green Chiles
1 can Rotel
1 Bushel Cilantro
1 C. Frozen whole kernel sweet corn
2 T. Knorr Tomatoe Bouillon with Chicken Flavor (this is a key ingredient. Most all grocery stores carry it in the hispanic foods section. I added a picture to help you identify it)
1 T. Garlic Powder
2 T. Cumin
2 T. Chili Powder
1 C. Vegetable Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First prepare your rice as you would in making 2 C of steamed white rice. I use a rice cooker and in most rice recipes there is a 2:1 ratio (water:rice), however when using a rice cooker you actually use less water to rice. In fact, if you are making the rice on the stove top, cut your water to 3 C of water to 2 C of rice instead of 4:2. Your rice will come out a little on the stiff side but that is ok because of the added ingredients later. Let the rice cook and continue on with preparations.

In a large frying pan add 1 C. Vegetable oil. After heating the oil to a frying temperature, add in the onion and carrots.

Chop the entire bushel of cilantro finely but do not include the last 3-4" of the stem. I use a little bit of the stem but I toss the majority of it out and use all of the leaves. Once chopped, add to the onions and carrots.

Add in all of the dry ingredients and let simmer until the rice is done.

Once the rice is done, turn the heat up on the skillet until it has once again reached a frying heat. Add once cup of rice at a time. Fry the rice until it is coated with the spices and is slightly golden brown. It is ok if it sticks a bit to the pan. I usually let it stick a bit and then scrape it. Just don't let it burn. Continue this process until all of the rice is in the skillet. You may add a bit more oil of needed. Be careful though, your rice should not be shiney with oil. Add in the frozen corn. Once all of the rice has been fried and all of the spices are evenly mixed throughout take the skillet off of the heat.

Move the contents of the skillet to a 13 x 9 baking pan (do not grease the pan). Drain the rotel and add to the baking pan. Add in the green chiles. Stir and evenly distribute throughout. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Let it cook for 15 minutes at 350 and then turn the oven off and let it sit in place for another 15 minutes.

After a full 30 minutes in the oven, your rice is ready to serve. I hope you enjoy!

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