Monday, December 15, 2008

Tamales with Mexican Rice

I didn't grow up eating tamales, so I've always been intrigued by them. My friend Ivette raves about them and had been on a quest to find good, homemade tamales for a reasonable price. She found a random lady selling 7 dozen for $7 a dozen, so I ordered a dozen of half chicken and half pork. They were delicious! I plan on buying some more next time she makes an order and making omelette's out of them, much like El Arroyo.

To go with them I wanted to make Mexican rice and a salad to lighten things up. One of my favorite bloggers to read is Ben from What's Cooking, so I took his recipe for Mexican Rice- it turned out great, so thanks Ben!

Mexican Rice

Vegetable oil
1 ½ cups of rice
2-3 Roma tomatoes
½ small onion
2 garlic cloves
chicken broth if necessary
1 small can of mixed vegetables

In a deep saucepan heat about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium fire.
When the oil has thinned add the rice and let it fried until it gets light brown. Stir constantly so it browns evenly. This step is very important to avoid the rice to stick when cooked.

In a blender mix tomatoes, onion and garlic with some chicken broth until well blended. The secret to perfect
rice is to double the liquid of the amount of rice. This means that for 1 ½ cups of rice we will need 3 cups of liquid. Make sure that you have 3 cups of liquefied tomato mix on your blender.

When the rice is light brown mix it with canned vegetables, tomato mix and salt to taste.
Stir and bring it to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and cover. Let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Here’s another tricky part to avoid the rice to break and stick.
You don’t want to stir constantly but not stirring at all will cause the rice to stick and burn at the bottom of the pan so stir lightly every 5 minutes making sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom.

When the water is almost absorbed stir more constantly but always lightly.

Cilantro Poblano Salad

1 poblano pepper
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 bunches cilantro
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 bag romaine hearts
1 package cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup roasted corn kernels
1 avocado

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast pepper for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool, then halve and remove stem and seeds. Add garlic and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse. Add pepper and pulse again. Add cilantro, 1/4 olive oil, salt and pepper and lime juice and pulse until smooth. Whisk together 2 tablespoons with remaining olive oil and set aside. Toss lettuce tomatoes, corn and avocado with dressing and serve.

I like this salad because I had made the pesto a couple days before for some breakfast tacos I had prepared, so this was a great way to finish it off.


Anonymous said...

OMG I suddenly want tamales REALLY BADLY!!!

Ben said...

Oh yummy! I think I will have to get tamales this weekend at the Mexican market. I haven't had any in a LOONG time. Your rice sounds pretty good too! :D

Happy Holidays!