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Arroz (Mexican Rice)

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Arroz {Mexican Rice} 

According to Wikipedia, Spanish Rice and Mexican Rice refer to the same dish.  Ironically, this rice side dish that is ubiquitous in Mexican restaurants in the United States is completely unknown in Spain.  The name Spanish Rice was most likely coined because Spanish is spoken in Mexico. 

After trying many recipes and receiving tips from several restaurant owners, this recipe is the closest that we have come to matching the arroz served in Mexican restaurants.  It is simple but you can alter the seasonings and add as many vegetables as you would like {such as carrots, tomatoes, peas, corn, and peppers}.

We have experimented with tomato sauce, tomato paste and blended fresh tomatoes.  The tomato concentrate was a hint from a restaurateur that we think is the key.  It comes in a little tube.  If you can’t find it at your supermarket, I recommend using tomato paste in its place. 

Arroz (Mexican Rice)
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
After experimenting with many recipes, this is the closest we've come to matching the rice served in Mexican restaurants.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I like using homemade jalapeño chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth)
  • 2 tsp tomato concentrate or tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped, optional
Instructions
  1. Coat a pan with oil and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the rice in the pan. It will only take a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir it frequently so that it doesn't burn. You will begin to smell the nutty rice flavor as the rice browns.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the rice.
  5. Then add the tomato concentrate and the seasonings.
  6. Reduce the temperature to low, cover the rice, and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  7. Stir it occasionally so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. When the rice is almost done, stir in the chopped tomatoes and other veggies if desired, cover and continue simmering the rice until it is fully cooked.
  9. A variation of this recipe that my family also loves is substituting salsa for some of the chicken broth. When we use salsa we omit the tomato concentrate.

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