Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Morning Mexican Fried Rice

Monday Morning Grandma

I had this already then forgot to post this morning. It's still Monday anyway.

When we were first married, my husband taught me how to make Mexican fried rice. When we visited his grandmother in San Jose, she provided some refinements. If you need an exact recipe with measurements, I can’t help you. I’m giving you the ingredients and method which is the way I make it.

Ingredients: long grain white rice (other kinds work, but they aren’t the same), tomato sauce (diced tomatoes can be used in a pinch, but it isn’t as good), fresh diced onions, fresh minced garlic, cooking oil (I use olive oil and it works fine), salt, and water. IF you want to you can add diced bell pepper. You can use dried onions and/or garlic powder when out of fresh.

Put oil in the pan, add the rice, onions, garlic, and if you insist bell pepper. (Do you get the idea I don’t care for bell pepper?) Sauté rice and vegetables on medium-high heat in enough oil to coat. Stir almost constantly until the rice turns opaque and browns a little. Add the tomato sauce and water. To speed up the cooking process, I’ve started heating water in the microwave while sautéing. (In fact, I do that for a lot of things these days.) Turn down heat. It takes about a half an hour from start to finish sort of. You’ll need to play with how low; it’s been different on all of my stoves through the years. Stir occasionally, and add water as needed. If you use too much oil, blot the excess that collects on the top with a paper towel as the rice swells and most of moisture is absorbed. I HIGHLY recommend using a non-stick pan. I have serious scorching problems without.

Bonus recipe: Fried beans are a great compliment to polish off a Mexican dinner, or the beans and rice can be a meal in themselves usually with flour tortillas and you can make burritos, some people prefer corn tortillas, that’s fine. Either cook pinto beans, or you can used canned, (not the ones already re-fried). I cook mine in a 22 quart pressure cooker then divide into meal sized portions and freeze. When the children were home it was 4 or 5 containers, now it’s a dozen or so. Heat bacon grease (now we use olive oil, sigh), add the beans and if you like, jalapenos, or diced green chilies (I use canned mild).

After a few years of trying, I gave up on making flour tortillas when I noticed my mother-in-law bought them! (Mine were never round.) I serve the rice with chicken, pork, fish or beef instead of potatoes or white rice along with a vegetable for variety. I sometimes use canned corn (frozen is better for you, but my husband is used to canned) as the vegetable. He likes to mix the corn and rice.

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