Otra Vez Arroz! Even More Rice Recipes

Otra Vez Arroz, or Rice Again? Lol! That was a running joke we used to say when we were kids. I don’t care how times my Mom would prepare rice, I loved it! Most times, I would just serve myself a big bowl of rice and squeeze some fresh lime juice on top and that was my dinner. For the recipes today I used the same method I learned to prepare Mexican rice, but infused each with some different flavors. Instead of roma tomatoes or tomato sauce, how about fresh lemon juice or freshly blended tomatillos. I figured since I always crave that little hint of acid in my rice dishes, why not prepare a rice recipe that has those bright and tangy flavors already infused. Both of these recipes pair well with chicken or seafood. For a quick version of arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), follow directions for either rice recipe. After the rice comes to a boil, add 1 pound of grilled chicken tenders into the pan. Cover and cook until most of the broth has evaporated.  If you are not into the white rice, these recipes work well with parboiled brown rice just as well. Delicious either way! Rice? yes, please.

   

Lemon Chicken Rice~ Arroz Limon

Lemon Infused Jasmine Rice with Chicken Broth
Lemon Infused Jasmine Rice with Chicken Broth

Olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1 chile serrano
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano, crushed
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon sliced thin
salt to taste

Directions

1. Add rice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Heat to medium and cook until rice becomes aromatic and toasted. Stir often so rice does not burn.

2. Add the serrano, onions and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Stir gently to combine. Lay the lemon slices on top.

3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt, cover and cook for 16 to 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving. Yields 6 servings.

I like adding a little turmeric for that signature lemon yellow coloring.
I like adding a little turmeric for that signature lemon yellow coloring.

 

 

Tomatillo  Mexican Rice

Instead of tomatoes to make a traditional Mexican red rice, I added tomatillos
Instead of tomatoes to make a traditional Mexican red rice, I added tomatillos. Love how the Jasmine rice cooks up every time.

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1/3 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced poblano pepper
2 jalapeños, one left whole and the other, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/3 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
3 large tomatillos, peeled, washed and chopped
1/3 cup water
Low sodium chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
Juice of 1 key lime
Chopped cilantro for garnish

 

Directions

1. Add rice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Heat to medium and cook until rice becomes aromatic and toasted. Stir often so rice does not burn.

2. Add the  onions, bell pepper, poblano, whole jalapeño, minced jalapeño and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Combine the tomatillos and 1/3 cup chicken broth in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour mix into a 2 cup measuring cup. If it’s not quite 2 cups, top off with more broth until it measures 2 cups.

3.  Add dry spices, tomatillo broth, bouillon anf juice of key lime to the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt, cover and cook for 16 to 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork  then fold in 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro before serving. Yields 6 servings.

The same tomatillo rice as above, but picture taken with a different camera. The light filters in differently.
The same tomatillo rice as above, but picture taken with a different camera. The light filters in differently.

 

Hawaiian Style Rice~ Arroz  Estilo Hawaiano

Hawaiian Style Rice Prepared with Brown Rice
Hawaiian Style Rice Prepared with Brown Rice

Ingredients

4 strips bacon
1 cup brown rice
Olive oil, if needed
1/2 cup red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 serrano, whole
1 jalapeño, minced
1 red fresno pepper, minced
1/3 cup poblano, diced
1/3 cup yellow, orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon sriracha seasoning/dry rub or 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Cook the bacon in skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and reserve for later. In that same pan with bacon grease, add the rice and toast for a few minutes at medium heat. If you need, add 1tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and all of the peppers. Saute for 5 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the pineapple, cilantro and reserved bacon. Bring to a boil, taste for salt, cover and continue cooking on low for 25 minutes. Crumble reserved bacon or chop finely.

3. After 25 minutes, spread out the pineapple and crumbled bacon over the top of rice. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and fold in the fresh cilantro before serving.  Serve with Sriracha hot sauce. Yields 6 servings.

*took about 40 to 45  minutes to cook on low heat.

Hawaiian Style Rice
Hawaiian Style Rice Served with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and extra Sriracha Hot Sauce

Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef

One of the most used dried peppers in my kitchen is chile ancho. Chile ancho  are the dried version of those big, green, beautiful poblano peppers. I love both equally and it would be hard for me to choose which is my favorite. I was spoiled for a few years when one of the local markets was carrying big bags of chile ancho. I was well stocked and could prepare a batch of pork tamales on the spot! Lol! Ok, maybe in two days… if I had the pork already. Fortunate for me I have friends who live all over the United States and local friends who travel all over as well. On several occasions I have traded product with foodie friends who live in other states. I send them hard to find items that they cannot purchase in their area and they do the same for me.  And for the friends that live locally, I cook some special Mexican recipes that are not available in our area, such as Mom’s Pork Tamales, yeah baby! Ha, Ha, Ha! Everybody’s happy! For this recipe today, I am using this wonderful filet of beef that comes two in a package. This particular one is infused with “steak house flavors”, whatever that means, lol! Taste like it was brined in a salt/water solution is all. But, it does taste delicious. Chile ancho marinades or sauces pair well with any meat, especially pork and beef. This recipe takes longer to marinate than it does to actually cook it. We enjoyed the beef hot the first two nights, then had the best roast beef sandwiches for the next couple of days. It’s a great choice for entertaining as well. Serve it sliced as an appetizer with garlic crostini slices and some fresh pico de gallo or guacamole on top for your next dinner party.  

Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef, Medium/Rare
Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef, Medium/Rare
Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef
Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef before marinating overnight
Filet of Beef after 10 minutes of resting. Was dark out, so picture was dark as well. The next day, sliced thin. we had the best roast beef sandwiches!!
Filet of Beef after 10 minutes of resting. Was dark out, so picture was dark as well. The next day, sliced thin. we had the best roast beef sandwiches!!

Ingredients

8 to 10 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed and torn into smaller pieces
3 chile de arbol or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic

Olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 filet of beef, 1 pound each more or less
1 to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed or canola oil works best for high temperature searing

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Directions

1. Heat 1/3 olive oil to medium/low heat in a skillet. Add the torn pieces of chile ancho, chile de arbol and cloves of garlic. Cook in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently so that peppers don’t overcook or burn. You want then to become aromatic and slightly soft. The garlic should be golden.

2. Add the cumin seeds, oregano and marjoram to the chiles and oil and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Once cooled transfer all of the mixture to the blender. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Blend on high until smooth, set aside. Taste for salt. Transfer the beef filets to a heavy storage bag and pour in half of the chile ancho sauce. Reserve the other half. Marinate overnight.

4. Remove beef from refrigerator and from marinade 40 minutes before cooking it. When ready, preheat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed or canola oil in a cast iron pan to medium heat for 5 minutes. Also preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

5. Sear the beef for 3 minutes on all sides, making sure you turn them right side up before they go in the oven.  Also before going into the oven baste the remaining chile ancho sauce over beef. Finish cooking in oven for 15 to 22 minutes or until internal temperature reads 130 to 135 degrees for medium rare or 140 for medium. Remove from oven and tent with foil paper for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve with sauce from pan. Yields 8 servings.

Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef
Chile Ancho Marinated Filet of Beef
If I had to suggest one thing, it would be to prepare some extra chile ancho sauce
If I had to suggest one thing, it would be to prepare some extra chile ancho sauce

Tacos y Domingo Familiar~ Slow Cooked Beef Tacos

 As a kid in California, Sunday’s were a day spent with family at the local park. My Mom would pack bologne sandwiches, that big box of Laura Scudder potato chips, a watermelon and a gallon size of lemonade. That was all we needed to enjoy those all day trips.When we moved to Texas, things were a little different and Sunday’s became special for a different reason. Sunday morning tacos were and still are my most favorite tacos. My parents were self employed and to earn some extra money they often would sell used items at the local flea market in Houston/Pearland. It was not an easy task, to say the least. So in preparation for the long hours at the flea market, my Mom would slow cook a chuck roast in the crock pot. Early Saturday mornings would consist of some quick chorizo con huevo tacos, but on Sunday we would feast on the most delicious beef tacos or tortas out of the slow cooker. A quick pico de gallo and sliced avocado was all we needed to enjoy this tasty meal. While most families were attending church service, my parents were working hard  at the flea market trying to sell their goods. It was not always a succesful weekend, but the trips I did make with my parents to the flea market really taught me to work hard at whatever it is you do in life. And for me, without the stories of how a recipe inspires us, it would just be another taco recipe. “Mom’s Flea Market Tacos”

Slow Cooker Beef Tacos
Slow Cooker Beef Tacos

 

Chuck Roast Tacos in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Cumin
Oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Maggi Sauce  or Worcestershire
1 cup water

Shredded Chuck Roast in the Slow Cooker
Shredded Chuck Roast in the Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Beef Tacos....Easy to Throw a Taco Party
Slow Cooker Beef Tacos….Easy to Throw a Taco Party

Directions

1. Add water, vinegar, Maggi sauce and red pepper flakes to the bottom of slow cooker. Season the beef to taste on both sides with spices listed. Add to slow cooker.

2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the beef with two forks while it’s still warm. I remove most of the fat also. Ladle a little of the broth left in slow cooker over beef. Yields up to 6 servings for tacos.

Tips~ If not eating right away, I like to refrigerate the broth overnight them remove the fat layer from the top. Strain the remaining broth using a heavy paper towel and add to shredded beef.

Slow Cooker Beef Taco Party. Such a simple, but oh so tasty taco.
Slow Cooker Beef Taco Party. Such a simple, but oh so tasty taco.

 

And before we serve the tacos, there must be at least 3 salsa’s to choose from…..or at least in my house there is….lol!

Roasted Tomatillo Serrano Salsa with Avocado
Roasted Tomatillo Serrano Salsa with Avocado

Roasted Tomatillo Serrano Salsa with Avocado. This another variation the the “Green Sauce” as my friends have named it!

4 to 5 large tomatillos, peeled and washed
3 cloves garlic, skins on
6 to 8 serrano peppers, stems removed
4 Anaheim peppers, stems removed
1 large avocado
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
Juice of 2 key limes or 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

In a large skillet at medium heat, add the tomatillos, garlic, serrano and anaheim peppers. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast/char for 15 to 20 minutes, turning as needed.

Transfer the Anahiem peppers toa plastic bag and let them steam and cool. Once cooled, remove the blistered skins and seeds. Remove skins from garlic.

Transfer all of the ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth. Garnish with a little more cilantro.

 

Pickled Sweet Onion, Radish and Jalapeño
Pickled Sweet Onion, Radish and Jalapeño

Pickled Sweet Onions and Radish~ Cebollas en Escabeche. I have prepared various versions of this recipe. I met a great Mexican chef, Alex Perez through my food page and his version of this recipe also included habanero peppers. If I had some, I would of added them too! Love, love, love a little hint of habnero in any escabeche! Here is the Youtube link to his video/recipe. You must check him out! 

1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
10 to 12 large radishes, sliced thin
4 to 5 jalapeños, sliced or diced with seeds
Juice of 6 to 8 key limes or 2  to 3 regular limes
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, crushed
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients and let sit for 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

 

Chile Piquin and Garlic Pico
Chile Piquin and Garlic Pico

Chile Piquin and Garlic Pico~ This recipe was inspired by my bruschetta that I so enjoy during the summer months and the balsamic vinegar makes this version of Pico de Gallo tasty!

5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 full tablespoon dried chile piquin, toasted and crushed
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients, cover and let marinate for 1 hour.

Domingo Familiar and The Best Beef Tacos!
Domingo Familiar and The Best Beef Tacos!
My parents at the flea market...they always made the best of it.
My parents at the flea market…they always made the best of it.