Saturday, February 7, 2009

Arroz Rojo Mexicano (Mexican Red Rice)

I'm re-posting this I had this in my blog before but it had no pictures

Mexican rice in Mexico is known as "Arroz Rojo" (literally red rice) or "Sopa de Arroz" (soup of rice, it doesn't make sense and I have no idea how other name for it came to be since this isn't a soup in any way)

Mexican rice. Pretty common, most people know what it is. This is my mom's recipe and it is better than any other Mexican cooks rice.

Some people say it's bland that's probably because they don't know how to make it or had it from a bad cook.

Most home cooks add some chopped carrots and peas. For a beautiful color and a nice sweet bite here and there.

Those are optional but I think it makes a big difference and is nice presentation
It's CRITICAL not to skimp on the sodium here.

-1 1/2 cup rice (rinsed well and drained of most water remove as much water as possible you'll see why later even put it through a fine strainer)
-water(depends on the brand of rice you use regular long-grain white rice use 1 1/2 cups per 1 cup trust me, do the math for the 1/2 cup in this recipe I think it's like for the 1/2 cup it's 3/4's water?)
-1/2 of chopped onion minced
-2 garlic clove minced
-1 8oz can tomato sauce (or 2 large ripe tomatoes finely chopped)
-2/3 cup chopped squared carrots (optional)
-2/3 cup sweet peas (optional)
-2 teaspoonfuls chicken bouillon
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-salt to taste (the water should be salty like the ocean)
-2 bay leaves (optional)
-Cooking oil
-1/2 a bunch of cilantro leaves minced to garnish (optional)

(1)Before you start bring water to a boil in a separate pot then turn it off.

(2)Heat a GENEROUS (notice the emphasis on generous) amount of cooking oil heat it on medium low. (don't worry, after teh rice is toasted we are going to drain most of the excess oil)

(3)Add the rice and toast it until a strong golden brown. Stir constantly it may take 5 minutes or longer but if you don't stir it wont brown evenly and clump up BE PATIENT

(4)Add the onion and sautee until translucent then add garlic until fragrant.

(5)Stir in tomato sauce stir well, then add water.

(6)Add the bouillon and cumin and carrots and peas.

(7)Bring to a boil and add bay leaves cover to cook for about 30 minutes on low.

(8)Open to check if cooked, taste it. Check if theres any water left on the bottom. At this point add cilantro over the top.

(9)Turn of heat and cover for 5 minutes to let it fully poof more.

(10)DON'T FLUFF WITH A FORK! (for this dish my mom just thinks you shouldn't like I guess in Mexican culture if you fluff the whole pan of Mexican Rice shouldn't be fluffed because she say's it looks "manociado" which would translate to "touched to much" like messy leftovers? I don't know it's her idea) the reason in the picture a huge chunk is missing is because my little sister had taken a big plate before I was able to take a picture.

(11)Your done, this can be used as a side for anything, good with some grilled meats, refried beans, hot sauces or pico de gallo, etc.

If you where interested in teh Mexican Red Rice you may be interested in the:

Mexican "Green Rice"


Karen Brown Letarte said...

Nathan, this looks fantastic! I think this is called "Sopa de Arroz" because it's cooked in a kind of "soup" or sauce, and since it's cooked until the liquid is absorbed, I guess "dry soup" sort of makes sense. I've head fideo called "sopa seca de fideos."

I'll post soon about my mom's "Spanish Rice," which I guess is an Americanized version of Arroz Rojo.


Mamey said...

Yeah, Spanish rice, is a variation of Mexican Arroz Rojo. It is not Spanish, just like French dressing is not French.

Nathan: Do you ever use chopped fresh tomatoes for this dish, instead of the tomato sauce?

Nathan said...

Karen Brown Letarte,
I have never had Spanish rice before looking forward to the post.

I guess you could think of it as a "dry soup" trust me though in Mexican spanish I've heard all sorts of weird names for things, like my grandmother from my mother's side (Mexican) she makes what she calls "Sopa de Gato" (translates to "cat soup" I'm like "what the heck, we don't eat cats") it's squares of tortilla lightly fried like sauteed with generous amounts of oil with onion and beaten eggs.

Yes you can use fresh tomatoes just make sure it's ripe and blend them in the blender. Not sure if "chopped" would give the rice the nice color.

mike asencio said...

never heard "cat soup"...I like it.
I grew up calling that "migas y huevos"...dunno why.

Nathan said...

Mike Asencio,
Hmm Migas con Huevo makes more sense than "Sopa de Gato" lol. I think it's like the "Miga" would be the tortilla like the 'bread" because "miga" is the white part of the bread like the inside of it & "huevo" well it's eggs so literal translation "bread with eggs"

Kara said...

Just spent about 20 minutes poking around on your blog, cannot say thank you enough for your recipes! I've been stealing recipes from my soon to be mother in law (many are identical to yours) and I am happy to find a reliable source for Mexican recipes that she doesn't have! (And Cuban, which I've always loved but never known how to make...)

I (and my very Mexican fiance) would like to thank you for sharing your family's wonderful recipes! The best to all of you!


Nathan said...

Thanks for the comment Kara, I'm glad the recipes are helping you out, if you ever need any specific recipe or something let me know I will be more than glad to share :)