Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arroz Blanco Con Vegetales (White Rice w/ Vegetables)

Every time I go to gatherings, birthdays or parties where food is involved and where the majority of people are Mexican or Salvadoran I always see this mixed white rice and vegetable dish as a side. I've never really made it, nor does my mother but we love it, just never really knew how it was prepared.

It seems everyone makes it slightly different and there are variations, but the common elements is all of use chicken bouillon or powder as flavoring and onion. The rest can sort of vary.

This is the version that I am very satisfied with, the rice is slightly toasted in butter with onions giving it a toasty buttery slightly sweet taste I love it :D


-2 cups long-grain white rice
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 onion minced
-4 cups water
-2 heaping teaspoons chicken bouillon
-1 cup mixed small mixed frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans)


(1) Heat a pot or deep-pan on medium high heat, add the butter, when butter melts, add your rice and minced onion. Stir constantly or you'll get burned pieces of rice keep stirring until rice is slightly golden and onions are transparent.
(2) At this point, add your water, raise heat to real high, stir in chicken bouillon, taste for salt the chicken powder or bouillon is pretty salty.

(3) When it comes to a rolling boil add vegetables, wait for it to boil again, give it a quick stir, cover then lower heat to low. Do not uncover for 25 minutes, uncover, check your rice it should be done now.
(4) Serve as a side to any meal, any meat stew, pan-fried or grilled meats, fried fish, beans, salad or sauteed vegetables anything it goes pretty well :)

I know it's a lot of butter, you can reduce the amount if you'd like, but it makes it taste sooo good, oil can be used in place of the butter as well but it won't be the same :) just be sure you have enough oil or butter to be able to toast and coat the rice well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ejotes Guisados (Mexican Sauteed Green Beans)

This is a very simple, humble vegetable side dish that goes well with almost any meal. In Mexican cooking like I've mentioned in one of my previous posts vegetables sauteed with just onion, garlic, tomato and salt is very common. Any vegetable or combination of vegetable you have on hand can be used. Sometimes people like to spice up these types of dishes by adding chili peppers and freshly ground black pepper and or freshen it up with some freshly minced cilantro towards the end. The choice is yours.

Here I present the most simplest form, using some green beans, it is simple and goes well with almost any meal :)

Today I prepared this for dinner, along with some "Frijoles de la Olla" (mexican pinto beans), having my Cuban heritage I had to have my "Arroz Blanco" (white rice steamed with olive oil and salt), and my mom pan-fried some Bassa fish filets the same way she prepares her Salmon except she floured them and we served with Alioli (Spanish garlic mayonnaise ha ha yes my Spanish heritage came up in this meal too I'll share the recipe in the future). For dessert we had some "Camotes en Piloncillo" (sweet potatoes in unrefined cane sugar syrup) So the meal was a combination of Cuban, Mexican and Spaniard cooking much like myself ha ha ;)


-1 1/2- 2 lbs. green beans (washed, ends removed and cut into whatever size you like)
-1/2 large onion minced
-2 cloves garlic minced
-3 small or 1 large tomato finely diced
-salt to taste
-extra-virgin olive oil

the optional ingredients:
-freshly ground black pepper (for some heat)
-1-2 green chili peppers finely minced (such as serrano or jalapeno) if you like spicy
-1/4 of a bunch of finely minced cilantro (to add some freshness)

(1) Heat olive oil on medium high heat, sautee minced onions and if using the green chili peppers add them at this point, cook this down until onions are tender and translucent maybe 7 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant and golden.

(2) Finally add diced tomato and let it cook down another 3-5 minutes (cooking the onion, garlic, and tomato with patience makes a big difference, this is a dish with very simple ingredients let them shine and be patient you can trim and clean the green beans while your cooking this down, just keep and eye on it so it doesn't burn and if it's cooking to fast lower the heat so you can have time to prep your green beans)

(2) At this point add your cleaned, trimmed green beans, and salt to taste and black pepper if using, stir well, keep heat at medium and cover for about 10- 15 minutes, Stir it every 4-5 minutes.
(3) This dish will be done when green beans are slightly tender or as tender as you'd like you may also garnish with cilantro. Enjoy :)
I know I haven't blogged in awhile but I'll try to post more often, I've been cooking, but also been up to a lot more lately. But I have plenty new to share :)

Also... if you liked this recipe check out my post for "Espinacas Guisadas" (Mexican sauteed spinach), Verdolagas Guisadas (Mexican sauteed Purslane), and "Calabacitas Guisadas" (sauteed Mexican squash one of my favorites my mom makes)