I am embarrassed to tell you all that until the other night, I’d never made my own Spanish rice. Despite our frequent meals of fajitas and tacos and enchiladas, I’d never attempted the side dish. Ours always came out of the box.
Last week, I went to make fish tacos and opened my pantry, and there was no box. We were all out of Spanish rice. I stood there for a minute, drumming my fingers on the cabinet door and chewing on the corner of my mouth, pondering the situation. And then I thought about what I knew was in Spanish rice, figured “how hard could it be?”, shrugged a bit (I have fantastic conversations with myself, gestures included), and pulled a few things out to hit the stove.
It wasn’t hard at all, y’all. Everyone ate, nobody complained (score!!), and I am never buying another box of sodium-packed Spanish rice again. This was faster and easier and healthier, and I already had everything I needed in my cabinet. I bet you do too, and I hope you’ll try this and see how simple it really is. You only need:
1 cup of regular long-grain rice (Uncle Ben’s or something similar)
2 tbsp diced onion (I used a little hunk of onion hanging around in the fridge–measurement is approximate)
1 clove garlic, diced
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4 cups of water or chicken/vegetable broth
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric (leave this out if you don’t have it–it just turns the rice yellow without much flavor)
Salt and pepper
Heat up a small saucepan over medium heat and give it a shot of olive oil to just coat the bottom. Stir together your rice, onion, and garlic, and let it toast for a minute or two. Add in everything else except the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, put a slightly-askew lid on the pot to let a tiny bit of steam out, and cook until the rice is tender, stirring after about 10 minutes (mine was done in about 20, but your stove’s power and pot thickness may change this). Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!