- texasmensch Nov 7, 2005 08:54 PM
I am having a Mexican dinner party soon. Anyone have a recipe for Mexican/Spanish rice without green/bell peppers. We strongly dislike those but will go for just about anything else.
Since you don't specify what it is about bell peppers that you don't like, it is hard to advise you. If it is their lack of pungency, use poblano chiles instead of the bland bells.
I found the following recipe on 'net among myriads of recipes.
* 1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
* 3 cups water
* 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
* 1 (15.25 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
* 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
In a saucepan bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning, kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and lettuce. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
A lot of people dislike green bell peppers: they are unripe and fairly bitter. The usual reason for including them in recipes is either precisely for their unripe bitter notes (e.g., often in Hungarian cooking) as a contrast to other flavors, or for their color (interestingly, the flags of Mexico, Italy and Hungary are all red-white-green, and using vegetables in those colors has a certain patriotic appeal).
My advice would be to substitute sweet red/orange peppers to your liking. Or less bitter light green cubanelles (Italian frying peppers).
2 to 4 Tbl. olive oil
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, mashed with 1-1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. chile powder
2-1/2 cups water
Heat oil on medium heat. Fry the rice until golden. Add the minced onion, mashed garlic and salt - saute for one minute. Add the chile powder and water. Cook on medium heat until you see tiny holes on the surface of the mixture - about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to "low", cover, steam for 4 to 8 minutes - or longer, to absorb the liquid.
I agree, that recipe doesn't sound right at all.
In addition to the pepper-based rices, there is also the tomato-based. It's very easy to make. Here's what I do:
Approx 1 tbsp oil
Approx 1/2 white onion
Approx 1 garlic clove
Approx 1 cup rice
Approx 1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
Approx 1/2 cup tomato sauce
Approx 1/4 tsp salt
Approx 1/2 cup frozen peas
Obviously, all the proportions are approximate. Saute some very finely chopped onion and garlic in the oil. After a few minutes, add the rice and stir to coat the rice with oil and brown just slightly. Don't skip sauteeing the rice, it is vital to achieve the proper texture. Add the water, tomato sauce, and salt, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, quickly pour frozen peas on top of rice (don't stir them in), and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, stirring in peas, and serve.
Maybe just improvise using chicken stock and/or bouillon and tomato paste in your rice water, maybe seasoned with ground cumin and chili powder. Or, separately toast some cumin seeds and work them when it's done.
Or, instead of seasoning the water, make a small bit of a compound butter like a cumin butter or maybe even a cilantro butter to add.
Here's how I do it... It never see a bell pepper...
You take the desired amount of rice and and fry in oil until slightly brown in the pot.
You add the appropriate water, a bit of bullion and a about two table spoons of Tomato Paste (Some people use el Pato Tomato Sauce and reduce the water, Diana Kennedy makes her own Tomato sauce, but I get more color and better flavor with my way).
Throw in a couple of cloves of garlic (Roasted Garlic Cloves give even more flavor!) and a couple of WHOLE Serrano Chiles.
I keep on an eye on it... Never stirring, but shaking the pot and then right when barely al dente, I toss in a few whole sprigs of Cilantro...