Rice is one the the easiest and cheapest things to cook.  When you do not know what to make for dinner you can always make a Mexican rice dish. Here is how.

Mexican rice recipe

Ingredients

3 cloves Garlic fresh chopped
1/3 cup of finely chopped Spanish white or yellow onions
1/2  Bell pepper
1/3 tablespoon of cummin
3 tomatoes puree
4 tablespoons of Olive oil
Boiled Long grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon salt

After the rice is cooked, you add it to a pan with oil and simply add onions, pepper, cummin, garlic, salt and tomatoes purée. You can adjust the ingredients of course to taste. This is one of the easiest recipes there is. Some people add bacon fat or very small pieces of ham.

After all is browned you can add a few chilli peppers and some people add grated cheese on the top. The heat from the rice should melt the cheese. Some people like to microwave it but I am a purist and try only to use my black iron skillet on a natural gas stove.

Rice alone is not enough protein to make it a complete meal. It could be a side dish or cheese or beans could be added.

I cooked in a restaurant for many years and the basic thing about cooking is this, it is art not a science. There are too many variable, however, in my opinion the best recipes were those from the highest quality ingredients. If you are making Mexican rice and you use green house tomatoes and generic rice your Spanish or Mexican rice will not taste great. However, if you buy garden fresh tomatoes, real garlic, not Chinese white garlic which is too strong, and quality spices it will taste good not matter how you cook it.

Another thing I learned about cooking is you do not want to overwhelm the main ingredient. If you are cooking rice, you should taste rice and not some soupy mix of whatever.

Variations of rice Mexican style

Some people like to add salsa and cream and beef and all sorts of variation for this recipe. However, I do not like it. I prefer light and in anything you can add something green at the end like arugula. Some people also add chicken broth for flavor or others corn to make it a more complete protein combination and make it more a Latin American recipe for rice.

You can also use different types of rice. White long grain Oryza sativa is the standard but there is also some yellow rice that works. I have never tried Mexican brown rice, but I should. Also you can mix it with wild rice, which is really a grass or grain. Except for wild, rice is not native of the Americas or even Mexico, it was brought by the Spanish.

I am curious if there are real difference in the north and south of Mexico. Most of the recipes you see online are pretty generic. However, if you are from Mexico city is it prepared different than from Yucatan or Baja. It is such a large country I am sure there must be some differences.

If you personally have a variation or any other ideas for this Mexican recipe for rice, please let me know.