ARROZ RICE


Every morning at Tacos Cala, the taqueria adjacent to my sit-down restaurant, we make a large pot of white rice, which goes on the fresh corn tortillas as the base for every taco de guisado. We use long-grain white rice from Rue & Forsman Ranch. As is usually the case with careful and conscientious farming, their rice tastes better than most supermarket brands. If you cook it carefully, as outlined in this recipe, you’ll end up with distinct grains that are soft but not at all mushy.
In Mexico, we call rice a guarnición, which translates to “a garnish” or “an accompaniment.” Although these two words mean different things in English—a garnish adds color and a bit of flavor, and an accompaniment tends to mean the starchy base that soaks up a saucy dish—Mexican rice often does both at once, because it’s typically cooked in water in which vegetables have been pureed, so it brings more color to the plate. I love red rice (which is cooked in pureed tomatoes) and green rice (which is cooked with blended poblano chiles and cilantro), but on my tacos de guisado (see this page), I usually prefer an unflavored cooked rice blend because it doesn’t compete with the flavors of the stews. We begin by frying the uncooked rice in a bit of oil, until each grain is opaque, before adding the cooking water. Then we don’t touch it at all while it cooks. This leads to fluffy cooked rice, every grain distinct.
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 cups / 400g long-grain white rice
2 cups / 480ml water
1 sprig cilantro
1 tsp sea salt, plus more as needed
Add the oil to a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Add the garlic and rice and turn the heat to medium-high. Fry, stirring constantly, until each grain of rice is opaque.
Add the water, cilantro, and salt and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes without stirring. Check the rice for doneness by tasting a few grains. They should be tender but not mushy, separate and distinct. If needed, cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Taste and add more salt if needed. Remove the garlic and cilantro before serving.
While cooked rice can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated, I suggest making it just before you intend to eat it, because it tastes better when freshly cooked. Add the water, cilantro, and salt and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes without stirring. Check the rice for doneness by tasting a few grains. They should be tender but not mushy, separate and distinct. If needed, cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Taste and add more salt if needed. Remove the garlic and cilantro before serving.
While cooked rice can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated, I suggest making it just before you intend to eat it, because it tastes better when freshly cooked.

ARROZ RICE ARROZ RICE Reviewed by sports on November 18, 2019 Rating: 5

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