It is a Mexican rice dish but arroz blanco is also found in the cuisines of many other South American and Caribbean countries. There are even some claims that the dish originated from the Caribbean and was merely borrowed by the South Americans.
Just as the claims about its origin vary, so do the methods for making the dish. The simplest version is rice cooked in salted water. In some recipes, the rice is cooked in water, drained and rinsed to stop the cooking then chopped garlic and salt are added. Others use broth instead of water.
In my version, garlic and onion are sautéed in olive oil, the rice is stirred in then everything is transferred to the rice cooker before water is added. It’s for convenience. Instead of checking on the rice every so often, the rice cooker automatically shuts off when the rice is done.
- 2 tbsps. of olive oil (doesn’t have to be extra virgin)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 c. of long-grain rice (don’t rinse)
- about 1 tsp. of salt
- finely sliced onion leaves and snipped cilantro, to garnish
- Heat a frying pan. Pour in the olive oil and heat gently.
- Add the garlic and onion. Cook over medium-low heat until softened and aromatic.
- Pour in the rice.
- Cook, stirring, until every grain of rice is coated with oil.
- Transfer everything into the rice cooker. Add the salt. Pour in about three cups of water, or whatever amount you customarily use. The amount of water will, of course, depend on how soft you want your rice as well as on the rice variety; some varieties do require more water than others. Turn on the rice cooker and let it do its job.
- When the rice is done, fluff with a fork before transferring to a platter.
Bistec picado and arroz blanco go very well together.