The Secret to No-Fail Spanish Rice (and Recipe)

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on March 13, 2014

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I have attempted many times to make Spanish rice for my family, only to be left dissatisfied.  It wasn’t until I was testing recipes for Fearless Feeding (where the recipe is adapted from) that I learned the secret.  Actually, four secrets.

The first is to sauté the rice in oil until it is lightly browned.  This really increases flavor.

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The second is to add broth instead of water to give it some oomph. You can also add tomato sauce and/or tomatoes. To give it that tomato-y flavor I add tomato paste.

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The third is to NEVER EVER touch the rice once the heat is lowered and the lid is on.  Before I knew this, I used to go back, take the top off, and stir frequently during cooking.  Then I wondered why the rice never turned out.  I’m sure this is common cooking knowledge, but nobody told me!

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And lastly, even though I’m a whole grain girl at heart, white rice seems to work best in producing fluffy rice.

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But the key is to experiment until you find the right combination of ingredients that works for you. We never eat this in one sitting so I freeze half of it for the next meal.  What goes in your Spanish rice?

Spanish Rice
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (check package on rice to adjust liquid as needed)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, saute rice in oil until lightly browned; add onion and saute 5 more minutes; add garlic and saute an additional minute. Add broth, tomato paste and salt and bring to a boil mixing in all the ingredients. Turn down heat to low and cover for 25 minutes or until the rice absorbs the liquid.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Annmarie March 14, 2014 at 9:18 am

We use the same exact recipe and methods- EXCEPT, instead of tomato paste, I add some salsa (maybe a quarter cup? I rarely measure and ususally just toss in a few big spoonfuls!)

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Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD March 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

That’s a great idea! Will have to try it next time.

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