Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arroz Amarillo Con Maiz (Rice and Corn)

This is my grandmother's recipe. When the rice is steamed with the corn it get's a very subtle sweet corn scent and flavor.

We use the rice cooker in my home since we are heavy rice eaters, rice is a daily thing we don't go without, so having a rice cooker is almost essential to use much like many Asians have rice cookers to.

The rice is colored yellow with "Bijol" which is achiote seed powder is used in Cuban cooking in place of saffron very often, because good quality saffron can be expensive. Achiote does not have any scent like saffron but it does have a unique flavor, some people use "Achiote Oil" instead which is just olive oil infused with achiote seeds then strained it will color anything it comes in contact with yellow.

Feel free to use saffron instead but don't be using turmeric and other stuff like that for this dish it will alter the flavor.

-3 cups long-grain white rice
-3 sweet corn cobs (cleaned, husk removed, sliced into 1 inch rounds)
-*water (depends on the brand of rice, etc, see note at end of recipe)
-extra-virgin olive oil about 3 tablespoons or more
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons bijol
-atleast 2 1/2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
-1 medium onion minced
-1 green bell pepper minced (or 1/2 green and 1/2 red bell pepper for nicer color)
-6-8 cloves garlic mashed to a paste

(1)Wash rice well rinse until water runs clear. Strain well and put in the rice cooker pot with the amount of water it needs.
(2)Heat olive oil on medium high heat, sautee bell pepper and onion for about 6-10 minutes until translucent and reduced, add garlic and sautee 1-2 minutes. Dump it into the rice pot. Add bijol, salt, and cumin, stir well incorporate everything and dump in sliced corn.

(3)Set rice cooker to cook and then in a little bit it will be done and just fluff the rice.
(4)Serve with whatever you want, I served it with some "Calabaza Con Mojo" (squash with garlic lime sauce) and "Vaca Frita" (cuban pounded fried flank steak with onions) I'll post the recipe for "Vaca Frita" some other time I make it again because I didn't take pictures, and got angry because I forgot the meat tooo long boiling so it fell apart to much, I wanted it shredded into large pieces not like floss that reminds me of "Quando uno mastica la carne y le saca todo el jugo y luego lo escupe jeje, me recuerda de puro GABASO..." but still tasted good but I want to post it perfect so you'll have to wait til next time.

NOTE: The water you will need depends on the type of rice, for regular long-grain white rice you find at most places use 1 1/2 cups water for every 1 cup of rice.

If you are using a good quality new crop Thai Fragrant Jasmine Rice (like I do) you will usually need only need 1 cup water for every 1 cup rice equal ratios because the new crop Jasmine rices aren't old and still have some moisture content in them so they don't need much water.

If doing on stove top, wash the rice well, drain it, when the aromatics are sauteed well, add the rice and stir it well so it get's coated with the oil, add the spices and salt, mix with the corn, then add water and bring to boil, stir once well, cover and set on low heat for about 30 minutes then turn off.