easy mexican rice

Recently I tried out Pioneer Woman’s recipe for homemade salsa.  Her recipe makes an absolutely delightful, gentle-kick-in-your-mouth salsa.  It also makes a metric ton of it.

Or it does if you follow the recipe as written, conveniently forgetting that exactly two people live in your house and this fresh salsa has no preservatives.  Once I made this salsa a few nights ago, I realized we would be eating a lot of Mexican food this weekend.  Fine by me!

So I wondered if I could make Mexican/ Spanish rice (I’ve seen essentially the same Tex-Mex dish called these two names) with some of this salsa.  See, almost all Mexican rice recipes call for canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, some jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro (maybe or maybe not among other things).  If you click the link above, you will see that those are, indeed, the same ingredients in PW’s salsa.  Seems logical that a substitution could be made here.

Enter Google, which led me to adapting this recipe.  This blogger’s explanation confirmed my theory: It can be done!  So this is what I did:

You will need:
1 c. long- or medium-grain white rice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. salsa (I used some of my multitude of PW salsa, but use any salsa you would be happy to throw on a chip)
3-4 c. chicken broth
Cilantro, chopped

Heat your chicken broth and some water in a pot, letting it simmer.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet on med-high heat and add the rice, stirring to get it all nice and coated.

After about a minute, pour in one cup of whatever salsa you’ve got on hand.

Stir the rice well, and let the liquid absorb.  Your kitchen now smells like spicy deliciousness.  Ladle in the hot broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice until the liquid is completely absorbed.

After you’ve done this a few times, taste the rice for doneness.  If it isn’t done, just keep ladling, stirring, letting the liquid absorb, ladling, stirring, etc.  (Think risotto.)  When you’re satisfied, remove from heat, top with cilantro, and serve.  Voila!

Don’t be like me.  Don’t forget the fresh cilantro in the photo.  Or on the table.  (I totally meant to include it, I promise.  If you forget, all is not lost.  The rice was divine even without it.  But it would have been amazing.)

You could also use pico de gallo in place of jarred salsa, and it might be interesting to try out different varieties of salsa.  I’m thinking rice with salsa verde has possibilities.


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