It’s been a long week. You know, one of those weeks with busy work schedules mixed with car problems and all kinds of other fun surprises.
The silver lining to this cloud of a week is that it’s Friday. No better time for your own personal fiesta…or siesta. Or, who am I kidding, just a giant margarita the size of your head. Yes, I could go for one of those right now. Or two.
For me, Mexican food is one of the simple pleasures of life. It’s a comfort food of sorts, and never fails to disappoint. The spicy, fresh salsas (oh, and that margarita) are all I need to perk up my lagging brain.
Going out for Mexican is great and all, but it’s just as easy and way more cost-effective to make it at home. The ever-present rice that accompanies your favorite dish need not be a culinary mystery for your home cooking.
In figuring this recipe out, I had a breakthrough. You can make a giant pot of restaurant-style Mexican rice enough to feed 10 people with leftovers for the price of one entree in a restaurant. It’s true. And you can control how much salt is in it, and if you’d like it spicy or mild.
This was also one of my first experiences with baked rice. Baking rice is now a common practice in my kitchen. Once you get a feel for it, you’ll never go back. While you’re making your tacos or…margaritas…you can have this rice in the oven, to be perfectly ready when it’s time to eat.
All you need is a sturdy, oven-safe pot with a lid and a jar of your favorite salsa. Yes, a jar of salsa. Read on to learn my secret of Mexican rice.
Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 cups uncooked long grain rice of your choice
1 (16-ounce) jar chunky salsa (mild, medium or hot, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
1 cup frozen corn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot with a lid over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add rice to the pot, and toast, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the salsa, chicken stock and salt and bring just to a boil. Put the lid on the pot and put it in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir the rice to fluff it a bit. Stir in the corn.
Depending on how spicy you want your rice, use either mild, medium or hot salsa. I usually use mild or medium.
To keep this rice vegan, substitute vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.