Garry's Mexican Rice

Recipe By : Garry Howard

1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon cumin seed
6 cloves garlic -- chopped
1/2 medium onion -- chopped
1 can tomatoes
4 teaspoons Wyler's Granulated Chicken Bouillon

This is my favorite way to make rice. Although it is Mexican style, it can be served with just about any main dish, especially grilled meats. I always make this when I have fajitas.

This recipe is adapted from one my mother acquired when I was a child so I grew up eating this rice. I was around 9 or 10 years old and we lived in Port Lavaca, Texas (on the Gulf Coast). There was a small family run Tex-Mex restaurant that we used to eat in frequently. The enchiladas were great and the rice they served with them was delicious. One day my mother asked the Mexican woman who did the cooking if she would share the recipes and she did. The changes I have made is to add onion and the Wyler's bouillon, the original called for just water and salt. I also use a different cooking method that I prefer, cooking uncovered at first and then covering later. This produces perfect, fluffy, individual grain rice every time.

Drain and chop the tomatoes reserving the liquid. Add enough water to equal 3 1/2 cups of liquid total. Dissolve the bouillon in the liquid. Sometimes I use a large fresh tomato instead of canned.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the rice and sauté until it puffs up and turns a light golden color. Add the cumin, garlic, and onion. Fry for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and fry until any remaining liquid has evaporated stirring constantly. Add the liquid and stir to mix the rice. IMPORTANT - Do not stir the rice again!

Lower the heat and simmer the rice until the liquid level is just below the surface of the rice and holes begin to form in the rice. (About 10 - 15 min.) Cover the pan and continue cooking on very low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. (Approx another 15 minutes).

Before serving stir and fluff the rice. I guarantee you will get rave reviews when you serve it.

An original recipe by Garry Howard, Cambridge, MA

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