Spanish rice has been a staple in my kitchen for so long, I can hardly recall when the creation of this recipe started. It’s a recipe that’s taken on many forms through the years.
But then after getting married and hardly knowing a thing about cooking, I often yielded to pre-packaged or canned Spanish rice. After-all, I wasn’t wise enough to ask my Ma for her recipe.
I was going for convenience anyway due to a full college and work schedule. And the packaged stuff looked decent enough. Little did I know at that time the importance of reading ingredient labels or preparing my own food.
Nor could I appreciate the difference between organic, local, and conventional food. Come to think of it, USDA Organic certification was just getting started in the early 1990’s. I wouldn’t have known or cared anyway at that time. Oh what I would teach my younger self.
Between then and now, I’ve learned how to cook and have tried many different Spanish rice recipes. Given my native Texas roots, I’m pretty particular when it comes to Tex-Mex food, especially when it comes to the spices. After all, this is a big factor in Mexican food.
Most Spanish rice recipes call for white rice and I’ve used white basmati for years. But decided somewhere down the line, brown was better. I’ve learned since, it’s only slightly higher in fiber and protein. Still an advantage in my book, but I also love the texture of brown rice.
I first tried simply subbing the white rice for brown. I tried this again and again tweaking the recipe here and there, but for some reason, I couldn’t get it to work. The rice never absorbed the liquids or cooked through. It was if the spices were impeding the ability of the rice to absorb the water.
I ended up with a mess of undercooked rice several times before I decided to cook the rice first, chill it overnight, then add the veggies and spices. Success!
Similar to fried rice, cooking and chilling prior to adding spices and veggies produces grains of rice that don’t stick together. Essentially you’re producing a lifted and separated effect here. Isn’t that what we all want? Ahem.
Spanish Brown Rice whips up in 17 minutes with a batch of pre-cooked rice.
Take that, week-night dinner!
Are you a Mexican food hound? What’s your favorite recipe? Drop a link or tell me more in the comments!
Spanish Brown Rice
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined
- 1/2 C Purple Onion Diced, 110g
- 2 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of chipotle chili peppers or 1 tsp of minced pickled jalapeños.
- 1 tsp Cumin ground
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2/3 C Fire Roasted Tomatoes 200g, freeze the leftovers
- 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 2 1/2 C Cooked and Chilled Long Grain Brown Rice* 350g, see note
Serve With (optional):
- Additional Limes
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook on medium-low or until softened. Add the adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic and salt. Stir until the onions are coated and the spices release their fragrance. About one minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir for another minute or until all the ingredients are incorporated. Add the cold rice and stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Squeeze lime juice over the rice, and stir. Warm on low for about five minutes or until heated through. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve with additional limes, cilantro, salsa and/or jalapeños.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to one month.
Recipe Notes*I always prep and chill my rice prior to making this recipe. Although the rice can be made just before pulling this recipe together, the rice won't be quite as fluffy.
Cook rice according to package directions or to yield 2 1/2 C (350g) add 3/4 C (152g) of long grain brown rice to a sauce-pot with 1 1/2 C + 2 Tbs (432g) Vegetable Broth. Cover. Cook on medium-low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Let rest for ten minutes, covered. Place in a covered container to chill over night. Use as directed in the recipe.