Living in Southern California we are all familiar with Mexican food where colorful burrito/taco stands are ubiquitous andas plentiful as your neighborhood Starbucks and where it one of southern California’s most popular cuisines. A week or so ago, we held an afternoon class in which one of our cooking students, Dr. Guzman, treated us to a class of authentic Mexican cooking. Dr. Guzman generously provided the ingredients and his cousin Eduardo provided the recipes and entertaining, informative instruction. We were very excited about learning how to make some homemade, delicious authentic Mexican fare.
During class Eduardo relayed some family history: one side of Eduardo’s family came here two generations ago from Mexico while the other side of his family can claim ancestry back to the 1700’s from Colorado and New Mexico, and both regions have influenced his family’s cooking style. In his family for generations recipes have been handed down. Some of the family recipes are strictly guarded secrets and prized possessions. Some of his aunts have even been known to hand out their particular recipe with an intentional missing ingredient or two, thus assuring that their version of the dish remained the best tasting. Family recipes are so valued when Eduardo’s mother was suffering from cancer and dying he literally sat by her bedside and had her dictate all of her recipes while he dutifully recorded them for himself and posterity.
Luckily for us that did as during the class we learned how to making chili rellenos, pork tamales, Mexican rice and fried ice cream. Eduardo has graciously allowed me to share his delectable Mexican rice recipe with all of you.
Note: Eduardo does not cook using exact, measured amounts rather, as an intuitive cooks does, he uses all his senses to determine correct amounts and proper amount of time. I made the rice dish again last night and did measure out all the ingredients so you have exact measurements to enjoy making this delicious dish too!
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and slight crushed
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup medium diced brown onion
6 ounce can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
Place chicken stock in a sauce pan over medium heat bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer. Peel garlic and slightly crush with the side of a knife. Place oil in large frying pan to coat bottom of pan over medium heat. Cook garlic for 3-4 minutes. At this point add rice and cook until brown, about 5-8 minutes. Add onions to pan and cook until onions are translucent. Add tomato sauce and stir to mix evenly into rice. Add simmering chicken stock to the pan of rice, then add cumin and cilantro. Bring entire mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook over low heat for another 20 minutes. Remove garlic and serve.