I still remember my high school Spanish teacher, Senor Turner. Interesting guy. I don’t recall learning a lot of Spanish, but I do remember some of his mannerisms. He spent a lot of time talking about his travels abroad, and told us to spend our money on travel, instead of cars and clothing while we were young. Good advice. Where was I going with this? Maybe I was wishing I was in Mexico…
One of our family favorites is chicken enchiladas, which we ate at a family dinner on Sunday. I tried out a new recipe for Mexican rice to go with the enchiladas. It was different than most rice recipes I’ve cooked in the past. This was similar to a Cafe Rio or Costa Vida style rice. If you live in Utah, you know what I’m talking about. I made a double batch on Sunday, then another quad batch on Monday for a school luncheon. After a few variations of the original recipe, I found a version that’s a keeper. The Cilantro dressing totally sets this rice apart from other rice dishes. Muy delicioso. Gracias Senor Turner.
Mexican Rice with Cilantro Dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small can chopped green chilies, mild
2 cups long grain white rice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth without MSG
salt to taste (I used about 3/4 teaspoon)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Cilantro Dressing
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and green chilies. Cook until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Mix in rice, stir about 2 minutes. Mix in broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender and broth absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice sit, covered for 5 minutes. Transfer rice to serving platter or bowl. Let rice sit for about 5 more minutes to cool slightly. Pour dressing over rice, tossing gently together. Season with salt and pepper. Can be prepared ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
1 1/4 cups packed chopped cilantro (about 1 small bunch)
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon minced seeded Serrano chile
Combine all dressing ingredients in blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead. Chill.