Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rinse and Repeat!

Now that I have provided an outstanding recipe for Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo), I will share my favorite recipe for "Mexican White Rice (Arroz Blanco)." When I first came across this recipe from Pati Jinich, I was on it like white on rice. (Sorry, I had to throw that in!) What first caught my attention was the addition of celery and lime, which I have not seen in other recipes. Not only do these additions provide essential vitamins and minerals, they also provide fantastic flavor to what sometimes can be pretty bland. This recipe uses only 1 serrano chile, which provides a hint of flavor and almost no heat. If you want it spicy, add more chiles. 

As I discussed before, all good Latina cooks know to wash the rice in a colander under cool water until the water runs clear. Because this recipe is for white rice, I soak the rice in warm water for about 5 minutes, then rinse under cool water. Not only does this remove impurities (you'll be amazed at what is released!) and phytic acid (which inhibits the absorption of nutrients), it is essential to produce perfect, light and fluffy rice. Why not give it a try alongside Enchiladas Suizas? You'll love it!

Mexican White Rice (Arroz Blanco)

Serves 8-10


2 cups long-grain white rice, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes, then rinsed in a colander until the water runs clear and drained (I like La Preferida or Texmati brands.)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 celery stalk, cut in half
1 fresh parsley sprig
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, or more to taste
1 serrano chile


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the rice and cook, stirring softly for 2-3 minutes. Incorporate the onion and stir, from time to time, until the rice begins to change to a milky-white color and feels and sounds heavier, as if it were grains of sand; about 3-4 more minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, along with the celery, parsley, lime juice, salt and whole chile.

When it comes to a rolling boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. If the rice grains don't seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken broth or water and let it cook for another 5 more minutes or so.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready to serve.

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