Not to brag in any way, but I do think I can make some pretty good rice. Just stating a fact. Its one of my favorite things to make, so I'm always trying out new recipes or perfecting my old standbys. Spanish rice is at the heart of my rice love affair, and we have some version of it quite often in our house.
But, as many times as I have made it and with as many different varieties and ingredients, I've never once been able to achieve that authentic Spanish rice, you know, the kind you find in a hole-in-the-wall taco shop or a really good (not Americanized) Mexican restaurant. That rice has always alluded me...until now!
A blog I regularly read linked to this recipe, and I had to try it the moment I saw it, especially when I saw that the creator got the recipe from a neighbor who had a Mexican food stand. I was sold - definitely had to be authentic! I was both thrown off and intrigued by the use of the green pepper - particularly the seeds - but I was willing to go with it since it was something I'd never tried in my quest. And let me tell you, those green peppers make all the difference! This rice is fantastic, and just that "taco shop" version I've been trying for for so long.
I think my problem has been I've tried to go too fancy, too unusual in my ingredients, when the perfect recipe is really just oh-so-simple. Simple ingredients, simple flavors, and here we have that rice I've been trying to make at home for years! I will probably still continue making my own versions because I love experimenting so much, but when I want authentic I'll definitely be turning to this recipe.
Oh, and the only thing I would do differently to this is add some finely chopped carrot to the mix, because I love when taco shops add that to their rice :)
Recipe from Dish Baby
1 cup white rice
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced and seeds reserved
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube (I use vegetable but chicken is fine, too), chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch black pepper
Heat up olive oil in a pan on medium/high. Add in rice and bell pepper seeds. Stir frequently and cook until rice starts to lightly brown; about 5 minutes.
Add in tomato sauce, and 2 cans of water. Stir. Add in salt, garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, black pepper and chopped bullion cube. Stir. Add in bell pepper slices. Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 40 minutes (mine only took 30 minutes). Remove bell pepper slices prior to serving.