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 the flavor.
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.
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!
And lastly, even though I’m a whole grain girl at heart, white rice seems to work best in producing fluffy rice.
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 into your Spanish rice?
- 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
- 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.
For more easy recipes and tips on how to serve meals to kids, check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution: How to Create a Rotation of Dinner Meals Your Family Will Love