Sunday, December 29, 2013


Confession time.  I don't know how to make rice, so I usually buy the Uncle Ben's microwaveable pouch.  It only takes 90 seconds and it comes out perfect every time!  So when my Uncle Dave asked me to bring the rice for our Mexican Christmas, I had a mild panic attack.  How many pouches would I have to purchase to be able to feed over 20 people?  Would they be able to tell it was microwaved rice? 

I then told myself to get it together.  People make rice all the time, so why can't I be one of them?  My main problem with cooking rice is that it always sticks/burns to the bottom of the pan.  Simple solution: use a nonstick pan.  Duh.  Not sure why I didn't think of that a long time ago.  I also prefer the microwave rice because the grains stay separate, rather than sticking together in mushy globs, like the carton of rice you get with Chinese delivery.  I googled and found this recipe, which had tons of positive reviews.  A key step is sauteing the rice first, so it doesn't get sticky.  I about tripled the amount of the original recipe, and it made more than enough for the 20+ crowd at Christmas.  I used mild Pace picante sauce to avoid any spicy issues with the kiddos.  I was a bit hesitant to make rice using salsa; I didn't want salsa flavored rice.  Turns out, nobody believed that the "vegetables" in the rice were salsa!  Amazing.  I tweaked the original recipe slightly.


2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Pace picante sauce

Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and stir about one minute.  Do not burn!  Add rice, constantly stirring until translucent (without browning), about 5 minutes.  Pour in broth and salsa.  Bring mixture to a rolling boil then cover with a tight fitting lid.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until rice is tender, stirring once during cooking.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes with lid on.  Fluff with fork and serve. 

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