Mexican Monday Recipes!
Happy Mexican Monday! And yes I know it is technically Tuesday, but I stay up late. I had a great night of great food and now I want to share it with everyone! Our menu is Mexican rice and homemade salsa, refried beans, and tortilla chips. And I’m roasting a head of garlic right now to mix into the salsa! Yummm, I can’t wait!
I also made gazpacho tonight, but that’s for a potluck I’m going to tomorrow. And it’s Spanish, not Mexican! I tried it though and it’s delicious so I’ll share the recipe soon… with lots of pics!
I’ll start with the rice. It’s really delicious and flavored by pureed vegetables! A much healthier alternative to Mexican rice from a box, I’m sure. And you can control the spice by deciding how much of the jalepeño stems and seeds you add!
- 1 roma tomato
- 1 white onion
- 1 jalepeño, deveined to your preferred spice level (I take nothing out!)
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbs chicken bouillon powder
- 1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable, the original recipe called for canola)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup brown rice (or use any kind of rice you want, but different kinds will need different amounts of water and cook times)
You will need to use an ovensafe pan with a tight-fitting lid because this rice cooks in the oven, not on the stove.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop tomato, onion, and jalepeño. Using a food processor or blender, puree with water and bouillon powder until smooth.
Heat oil for two minutes on low-medium heat. Increase heat to medium, add garlic and rice. Stir consistently and cook until the rice has a nice brown color. Add pureed mixture (stand back while pouring!), increase heat to medium-high and bring rice to a boil. You should be stirring this whole time. Put the lid on the rice, put the rice in the oven, check back in 45 minutes!
You’ll have to stir the rice first thing, and decide if it’s ready by how moist it seems. If you want the rice to suck up some more moisture, put the lid back on and put it in the oven for a few more minutes. If it seems good to go, eat up! My rice was chewy in a satisfying, yielding way; moist but not soggy or soupy; and intensely flavored with a good amount of spice. No more plain old brown rice for me!
3/3/13 Rice recipe was edited to reflect minor improvements
Next up, salsa! Ben is a genius at salsa. As a result, I am spoiled and can’t stand jarred salsa and can only eat his and crave it constantly. Luckily, I learned how to make it myself! It is very easy and contains nothing much than chopped vegetables (I guess fruits too because a tomato is a fruit) and salt! You can play with it on a whim and add corn, garlic, and more!
That’s what we’re doing tonight! Ben decided to roast the peppers tonight, which gave the salsa a comforting sexy feel, and I’m roasting garlic right now to add in! Minced or finely chopped raw garlic is also great in this salsa, but I just bought new olive oil and I’m lovin it.
Real quick, to roast a head of garlic in a sexy and delicious way, chop off the top, peel away some but not all of the paper, and put in a ball of tin foil. Pour over a generous amount of olive oil and salt, making sure all the garlic seems well-coated. Close the ball and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. If you can wait that long!
And here! Is our salsa recipe. Play with it how you will.
Just dice everything to the same consistent small size, as small as you can chop. Ben’s tiny is a lot tinier than mine, and that’s okay. If you have a food processor, that would probably help you out. Or you can practice your knife skills!
Chop two roma tomatoes, one bell pepper, one jalepeño (seeds and all if you like it spicy!), one half cucumber and one half onion. Mix a generous amount of salt in–it will help pull out the moisture and mix the flavors. Now it’s time to ea….
WAIT! OH NO! You don’t have anything to eat the salsa with! We haven’t made the tortilla chips yet!
Let’s get these in the oven quick.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Very lightly grease both sides of a big ole stack of corn tortillas. We used olive oil, but I’m sure y’all are gonna use bacon fat. I wish, dude!
After greasing, quarter the tortillas. Add a little more salt than you think is necessary, or don’t add any salt at all! Bake for about 17 minutes, or until light brown and very crisp.
Now dip dat chip!
Last but not least, da beans. I used canned beans so it was super simple. You can use any kind of beans you want! But pinto and black beans are probably the most common. Heat 2 Tbs of your grease of choice over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, let fry for a bit, add yer beans. Mash them with a potato masher (I have one!). Let cook some more. Repeat. When you can’t wait any more, it’s time to eat!
Ben hates beans and I love them. More for me!
And right now I am sitting here writing and Ben is on the other couch playing Grand Theft Auto and I feel just so satisfied with the meals I have eaten today.