I intend to post on this blog about delicious Mexican food for as long as humanly possible. With that in mind, I think it makes sense to share my favorite side dish to go with things like Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas. This Tex-Mex rice is a family recipe, and it’s a far cry from the stuff you sometimes get in restaurants with chunks of peas and carrots that were clearly recently defrosted.
This Tex-Mex rice is cooked in olive oil and chicken broth, and flavored with onion, garlic, and chili powder; oregano; cumin; and a little bit of enchilada sauce. It’s a perfect choice to complement black beans and just about any version of tacos, enchiladas, or burrito you want to make. The rice definitely isn’t spicy, but it has a depth of flavor that makes it delicious even just eaten by itself.
Tex-Mex rice doesn’t take much longer to make than traditional rice, because the only extra steps are browning it briefly in olive oil, and adding the seasonings. It can be made while the rest of dinner is cooking, and it keeps well in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, for about a week. This rice has a slightly higher nutrition content than plain or cilantro-lime rice, since it’s cooked in chicken broth. You can also make it with vegetable broth to keep it animal-product free.
My favorite way to eat Tex-Mex rice is in a big burrito bowl, because it’s a perfectly mild, yet flavorful, base to build on with just about any Mexican flavors. However you decide to serve it, in a burrito, a bowl, or just on the side, this recipe will change the way you look at rice.
- 1 cup raw white rice
- 3/4 Tbsp olive oil
- 14oz chicken broth (or a mix of broth and water, or vegetable broth)
- 1 Tbsp enchilada sauce or smooth salsa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp dried leaf oregano
Stir together seasonings and salt, set aside. If the broth is cold, warm it to at least room temperature. Combine broth with the enchilada sauce. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot with a tightly-fitting lid (lid off). Add the rice, and stir over medium-high heat until lightly browned, just to an ivory or light tan color.
3. Stir the seasonings into the rice, and then add the broth. Stir once, to distribute evenly. When the broth comes to a full boil, put the lid on the pot, and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Let cook for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during cooking time. Check for doneness after 20 minutes; if the liquid has not been completely absorbed, cover the pot again and let it cook another 5 minutes or so.
For best texture, cook a day or two ahead of serving, cool, and then refrigerate. Reheat in the microwave just before serving.