Saturday, 13 December 2014

Mexican Rice

It's been a while since I last used my rice cooker cookbook, so I figured I'd flip through it again and see if anything caught my eye.

Most of the recipes in the chapter I was looking at seem to be recommended for a medium (5-6 cup) rice cooker, but they do note that they can be scaled up or down to fit other sizes. I have a 10 cup rice cooker, so I figured I'd just double the recipe to fit the larger pot. (10 cup cookers don't tend to do so well with small quantities of rice. Two "rice cooker cups" is about the the minimum that they can do a good job on.) This worked out well in the sense that the rice cooked up nicely and we got a tasty lunch out of it. However, once all the other ingredients were added, I was left with a huge quantity of "Mexican rice"! I will probably just make half the amount next time and deal with the less-than-perfectly-cooked rice.

Mexican Rice
1 c. long-grain white rice
1 c. stock (chicken, vegetable, pork... whatever you prefer)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 grinds black pepper
2 Tbsp. capers
1 (15 oz.) tin diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) tin beans (black or pinto work well), drained and rinsed
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
sour cream, for serving
feta, for serving

1. Add rice and stock to the rice cooker and turn it on. (If you have a fancy-pants fuzzy logic rice cooker a regular, quick cook, or mixed cycle should be appropriate here.)
2. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the bell pepper and cook until it just begins to soften.
3. Add the onion, bell pepper, black pepper, capers, diced tomatoes, beans, chiles, oregano, and cilantro to the rice cooker. Stir and replace the lid. If the cooking cycle hasn't yet finished allow it to complete.
4. Serve topped with sour cream and feta.

If you have a large rice cooker, the small quantity of rice called for in this recipe may not cook up as nicely as larger volumes usually do. Double the recipe if you're worried about this, but be aware that the finished product will fill your rice cooker! I doubled the quantities called for above and ended up with my 10 cup cooker filled to the brim. I actually only put in half the amount of beans called for because the rice cooker was already so full!

This is how much was left after TF dished his lunch up!

I think this would also be nice with brown rice and/or garnished with lime juice in place of the sour cream. I think I'd also try adding a couple cloves of garlic next time. In fact, I may sauté up a little garlic tomorrow and add it to whatever's left in the pot.

This makes for an extremely easy meal. And quite quick as well if you stick with white rice! Quick, easy, and tasty... what more can you ask for out of a meal? It does fall just short of being a one-pot meal since you have to sauté the onion and peppers (and optional garlic) separately, but there really isn't much to do in the way of clean-up after making this. It's pretty great.

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