Spanish rice has a unique flavor and kick that makes it stand out as one of the quintessential Mexican side dishes. Nothing tastes better than taking a fork loaded with hot refried beans and putting it on a thick pile of Spanish rice. While you can go ahead and buy boxed sides that adequately reproduce the Spanish rice experience, it’s best to make your own from scratch to get the real deal. Here’s a simple recipe you can make from home to recreate this great addition to any Mexican dish.
1. Start with a 12-inch saucepan filled with a quarter cup of vegetable oil and bring to medium heat.
2. Next, add two full cups of long grain white rice to the skillet with hot oil. Let the rice sauté in the saucepan for ten to fifteen minutes so that the rice has a nice golden brown color and is completely toasted.
3. Add half a diced yellow onion and half a sliced bell pepper. Let cook until tender for about five to ten minutes.
4. In this step, you can add garlic powder, but it is recommended that you use three full cloves of minced garlic that have been put through a garlic press to ensure that it is minced enough. Cook for an additional three minutes until the garlic begins to release its aroma, signaling that you move on to the next step.
5. Take two teaspoons of salt, three-quarters of a cup of tomato puree, and two and three-quarters of a cup of chicken broth and add to the skillet. Increase heat to bring mixture to a full boil while continuously stirring.
6. Boil for two minutes before reducing heat and let the Spanish rice simmer for twenty minutes covered.
7. Once the time has elapsed, add three-quarters of a cup of frozen peas. Retrieve the skillet and let it rest for five minutes so the peas can thaw.
8. Serve rice as a side dish or garnish during your next meal.
To keep sodium levels at healthy levels, since Spanish rice tends to be salty, opt for sea salt and low-sodium chicken broth to lower sodium levels. You can make your own broth by simply boiling some chicken in water and holding the water after. You can also add pork or chorizo to Spanish rice as an option. Add the meat at the same time as the broth. Make sure the meat you choose is fully cooked before adding it to Spanish rice.