Monday, November 12, 2012

Mexican Fried Rice

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog Jen's Journey. Jen is pretty much a super mom. She has two fantastic teenage kids, she homeschools, she reads, she crafts... oh, and she cooks really, really well! She is also really honest about her life and the paths that it has taken, and uses her blog to share her journey with the world. Talk about a strong woman!

I had some trouble choosing what to make, and let me tell you - there were some terrific options. My first thought was to try her homemade ketchup, since I have been wanting to try my hand at that for some time. Then I saw this amazing looking chocolate cream pie. Yum. I may just try that one for Thanksgiving! Then I saw this delicious looking honey mustard BBQ chicken. Oh my gosh. But I was worried about allergy boy having it with the mayonnaise. But I am definitely going to try an allergy-free version of it.

Then daddy asked me if we could have tacos for dinner one night and my decision was made. In perusing the blog, I'd seen her posting for Mexican Fried Rice, and as soon as I heard "tacos," I knew what we'd be having as our side!

I started by gathering the ingredients and chopping my onions and garlic.

The rice, onion and garlic were then sauteed in a little bit of olive oil...

...and then the tomato paste and chicken broth (along with any spices you are using - I used cumin and a dash or paprika) are added to the pot and the whole thing is stirred up.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, you cover it, lower the heat, and let it simmer (covered) for half an hour. Now, it is not uncommon for me to have bad luck with one-pot rice dishes, so, when timing out my dinner, I timed it to give the rice 45 minutes, rather than 30. Just to have a buffer.

And it's a good thing I did that, because when I removed the lid at 30 minutes, this is what I saw...

Soupy rice that was still pretty crunchy. NOT the idea.

I let it cook for another 15-20 minutes while we served up our tacos and corn, then gave it another try.

The flavor was fantastic. But my rice still had... umm... a bit more bite than I wanted. I have no idea what I did wrong, whether it was the style of rice or some sort of weird one-pot-rice-dish curse I seem to have... BUT I will definitely try this again, because, as I said, the flavor was delicious, so, even though it didn't work out perfectly, I would not call it a fail.

And I look forward to making many more dishes from Jen's blog!

To see the other dishes cooked up for this week's Secret Recipe Club revel, click on the links below:

Mexican Fried Rice
(only slightly adapted from Jen's Journey)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long grain white rice (I used brown basmati rice)
½ cup finely chopped white onion (I used a whole onion, decent sized)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used four cloves... I like garlic!)
2¼ cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1¼ teaspoon kosher salt

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the rice, onions and garlic.
Saute until the rice has an opaque color and is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, tomato paste and salt. Mix well to incorporate evenly.
Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until rice is ready, about 30 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.

I needed to simmer my rice for much longer, but I am not sure if that is due to the type of rice that I used or not. Jen had luck with this recipe, so I'd like to keep trying!



  1. We are rice lovers.I love all the possibilities. This looks delicious.

  2. I love the idea of Mexican fried rice. I love fried rice and the twist makes it even more appealing.

  3. I love Mexican rice and make it frequently. I'll have to try your recipe! Looks delicious and I also saute my rice and other fragrant spices in oil before I add the broth. Salsa works well,tool as a substitute for the tomato paste. Just make sure you adjust the broth proportions.

  4. I love Mexican Rice and this is a great version.

  5. Your rice cooking problem is most likely that you are not bringing it to a full boil before turning down the heat and covering the pan. I had the same problem until I figured that out!

    1. Hmm... I thought I did, but you may be on to something - I may be turning it down too soon, and with all the extra "stuff" in there... I never have this problem with regular rice, just the extra-stuff versions. I will try again and let you know how it works out! :)

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