Years ago when I lived in Oakland, my across-the-street neighbors were the lovely and boisterous Garcia family. Every year, Mrs. Garcia and her daughters would spend hours braising pork and making her famous Christmas Eve tamales with Mexican rice. They would show up on our doorstep that evening, with a plate of these delicacies, the tamales and rice still warm. It didn’t matter if we’d already eaten, we still had to tuck into those gorgeous morsels.

Every year I would ask Mrs. Garcia how she made the rice (forget about the tamales, that was an all-day affair), because I’d never been able to quite get it right. And every year she would say “Oh it’s easy, just puree tomatoes, onions, and garlic and cook the rice in it.” Well, easier said than done without a proper recipe.

Here is a proper recipe. I think I’ve finally got it. This is great if you are serving it as a big spread of Mexican food, whether you are doing a whole Thanksgiving spread, or serving it alongside Christmas tamales, or just as an every day meal with friends.

Toasting the rice ahead of time adds flavor and texture, and helps give the rice a nicely golden color.

Mexican-Style Rice with Mole Gravy
Mexican-Style Rice with Mole Gravy (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Mexican-Style Rice

Makes 8–10 servings

    Ingredients:

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • About 1 1/2 cups turkey stock, low-sodium chicken broth, or water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
    Instructions:

  1. In a blender, puree the tomatoes with juices, onion, and garlic until smooth. Pour into a large glass measuring pitcher. Add enough broth to make 4 cups total. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, puree the tomatoes with juices, onion, and garlic until smooth.
    In a blender, puree the tomatoes with juices, onion, and garlic until smooth. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Pour into a large glass measuring pitcher. Add enough broth to make 4 cups total.
    Pour into a large glass measuring pitcher. Add enough broth to make 4 cups total. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes golden, about 5 minutes. Pour the tomato mixture over the rice, add the salt and bay leaves and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve.
  4. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes golden, about 5 minutes.
    In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes golden, about 5 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Pour the tomato mixture over the rice.
    Pour the tomato mixture over the rice. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Add the salt and bay leaves and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.
    Add the salt and bay leaves and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve with Savory Black Beans and Mole Gravy.
    Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve with Savory Black Beans and Mole Gravy. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Mexican-Style Thanksgiving: Mexican-Style Rice 17 November,2016Kim Laidlaw

Author

Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.

Author

Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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