Although Mexican rice and Spanish rice are terms often used interchangeably, there are marked differences between the two dishes — saffron and chilis.
Spanish rice is red-orange because of the tomatoes and saffron.
Mexican rice has tomatoes and, often, tomato sauce, no saffron and is a bit hot because of the addition of chilis.
Both are delicious.
This Mexican rice-inspired dish has no tomato sauce nor fresh tomatoes. Instead, I used sun-dried tomatoes soaked in herbed olive oil.
A la Mexican rice
- 2 cups long-grain rice rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1 bird’s eye chili finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 to 4 cups meat broth (or use fish stock)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- a pinch of cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the garlic, onion, sun-dried tomatoes and chili until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the rice. Stir to coat each grain with oil.
Pour the contents of the pan into the rice cooker. Pour in the broth. Add salt and pepper (how much depends on how well-seasoned the broth already is), and the cumin. Turn on the rice cooker and cook the rice as you normally would.
When the rice is done, leave it in the cooker for another ten minutes. Then, fluff the grains with a fork and stir in the parsley, cilantro and lemon juice. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.