Mexican Rice with Bell Peppers

2010
03.28

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This rice was my saving grace when I was pregnant with Nish. Though horribly nauseous all the time, I still craved for rice. Now, don”t ask me how that works. Apparently, nausea and craving go hand in hand during those most confusing months in the lives of many women. While I longed for rice, I was put off by the smell of any kind of rice preparation. In his desperate quest to find something to plug the whining gob of his wife, Roy, discovered that the Mexican Rice did the trick. It got him at least a couple of hours of relief from her  incessant annoying drone and heaving. I think it had to do with how simple the rice is. Everything about it is subtle. Perfect for a preggy’s oversensitive olfactory system.

Called arroz, which means rice,  it is served along side the main dish. It can be made with or without the vegetables. I usually use vegetables to keep it healthy, but limit it to just one kind. That helps retain its identity and not over power the dish.

Ingredients

1 cup long grain rice
2 cloves of garlic, diced fine
1/2 cup of onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup puréed tomato (I prefer to use the can since the sauce is more dense)
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
1/2 cup of bell peppers diced small
2 –3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 chopped pickled jalapeno (optional)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add in the rice and sauté over medium heat for a minute or two until the rice is nicely toasted.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapeno and bell peppers and sauté for a minute or until the onions turn translucent
  • Pour in the chicken broth and tomato purée and bring to boil.
  • Reduce the flame to low, tightly shut the pan and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes till the rice is cooked.
  • Fluff up the rice gently using a fork. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
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