I grew up calling Arroz Spanish Rice. This followed me into adulthood, and up into my 30′s. I found out not to long ago, that what I learned to call Spanish Rice isn’t so Spanish. It really doesn’t have anything to do with Spain, or how they cook rice in that country (think Paella). Arroz really is Mexican Rice, cooked in a tomato base with peppers, onions and garlic. I’ve been making this rice for as long as I remember, back to when I would stay with my grandparents on the farm. I’ve since perfected it, and made Arroz palatable for the Vegan.
Arroz is traditionally cooked with chicken stock. My version uses vegetable stock which when made right comes close to tasting like chicken stock. So try this recipe out on your non-vegetarian/vegan friends, and don’t tell them there’s no meat in it. They’ll come back for more.
Arroz (Mexican Rice)
2 tbsp Cooking oil
1 cup Rice (your choice)
2 Roma tomatoes pureed
1 ½ cupsVegetable stock
4Tomatoes, pureed (you can use canned tomatoes if you wish)
2 Jalapenos, diced
½ Yellow onion, diced
3-4 Garlic cloves, finely minced
½ bunchCilantro chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Soak rice in water for several hours, then drain.
Heat up a large skillet, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the rice. Toast the rice until it starts turning darker.
Add jalapenos, onions, and garlic. Sautee until the onions are soft and translucent. Pour in the liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer and cover.
Cook the rice for 35-40 minutes, or until it is done. Take off the heat and add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
This recipe works for most of the white rice out there. Basmati, Long grain, Jasmine, and that bag on the shelf of the grocery store. Just remember, when increasing amount per cup, that increases the cooking time.
If you have a rice cooker, please follow those instructions. These recipes are intended for stove top cooking. (makes 2 cups of rice)
Add the rice to the boiling water, bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid (or use aluminum foil), and cook for 30 minutes. When done, the rice will have soaked up all the water, and be fluffy, with the grains separated. Don't stir the pot while the rice is cooking, this will disturb the absorption process.
When done, remove from heat, place in an airtight container, and allow to cool down completely before covering.
Serve with any veggies or alternative proteins that you like.
We had guests over the weekend. I like to cook for people when they stay with me. However, these folks were busy with a conference, so they were in and out all weekend. I figured Sunday would be a good day to cook for them. (I did not know that they would be having dinner at the conference as well).
I planned to make Spring Rolls, and an orientalish fried brown rice. A light but filling “snack.” I had all the ingredients but one. Red Fresno (or red jalepeno) chilis. I live in Southern Arizona, I ought to be able to find a fresh red chili somewhere.
I went to 10 grocer outlets. TEN! I spent almost three hours on this hunt, and I could not find a red hot chili any where, no japones, fresnos, jalepenos, nothing. I was distraught. I finally found, to my culinary terror, a jar of red jalepenos. I purchased it praying that they were hot enough for the chili dipping sauce I was making for the Spring rolls. Sometimes a chef has to improvise.
I returned to my kitchen to slice, dice and create my culinary delights. The experiment to use water to close up the wraps worked for my partner’s vegan diet. The others received the standard egg wash.
This dish is a variation from the cookbook “Vegetarian”, edited by Nicola Graimes. This book is virtually a bible for vegetarian cooking.
Thinly slice carrots and celery on the bias (diagonal cuts). In a clean wok, add 2 tbsp of oil, let it get hot. Add the celery, carrots, ginger and garlic. Saute on a high heat until vegetables become tender, but still have a bite. (al dante). Mix in the rice, and salt and pepper. Serve with Spring rolls and dipping sauce.
Slice all the vegetables. Keep separate. Preheat a wok on high, and add safflower oil. Let the oil get hot. Bring the heat to medium flame, and add the carrots, celery and onion. Saute until tender. Add zucchini, squash, garlic and ginger, saute until soft. Add bean sprouts and half the scallion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the cilantro at the last minute with a splash of rice vinager. Let cool.
Lay out the egg roll wraps. Add a bit of noodle and a bit of the veggie mixture. Roll the wraps like a burrito, so that both ends are sealed. Do this until you run out of mixture and noodles.
Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pot. Make sure the temperature is near 400 degrees. Fry the Spring rolls until golden brown. A few at a time depending on what kind of pot you are using. Drain on paper towels.
Put the rice in a mound on the plate, cut the Spring Rolls in half on the bias. Place the Spring Rolls around the rice. Garnish with the left over scallions and cilantro. Serve with dipping sauce to hungry diners.
Mix all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves, bring to a light boil. Boil until mixture becomes a syrup. Remove from heat and let cool.