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Spanish Rice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

 I've heard spanish is different for each family. I'm not interested in someone else's recipe so I was wondering what make's spanish rice authentic. What ingredients should I use for my own spanish rice recipe?

post #2 of 13

Can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. One of my mother's signature dishes is her Spanish rice, a delicious accompaniment to steak, chicken, and Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas. Spanish rice is prepared by browning the rice first with onions and garlic, before cooking it in chicken stock with added tomato. The browning is essential to the nutty, almost toasty flavor of the rice. And although bouillon can be substituted for the chicken stock, nothing beats homemade chicken stock, the rich flavor of which is absorbed by the rice. 


Spanish Rice Recipe 
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Ingredients 
2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup) 
1 onion, chopped fine 
1 garlic clove, minced 
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice 
3 cups* chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian) 
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained 
Pinch of oregano 
1 teaspoon salt 

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice. 

Method 
1 In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened. 

2 In a Separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

post #3 of 13

The above recipe is nice and I make it often but I don't consider it spanish rice unless I also put in finely diced bell peppers.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 13

Spanish rice recipes vary from region to region and they are all very different from each other. If you want to make your own spanish rice but want it authentic, I would say that the two most important things to consider would be a good quality home made stock and an authentic Spanish rice. La bomba is the Valencian rice which I doubt you will be able to get that easily, it is a medium to short grain and absorbs liquids much slower than other rices. Long grain rice will not make an authentic dish, neither will arborio or anything else but Spanish rice, nevertheless it all depends on your definition of authentic. Try our friend google for Spanish rice online.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ah thanks so much. All of this information is very helpful. I taken a stab at it 'blind folded' the other day with cava nuda, roma's, bell peppers, onions, crushed garlic, jalapeno's, tomato sauce, etc. Not much groceries lying around the house so I turned it into a fiesta vegetable soup instead.

post #6 of 13

My grandmother always insists on using short grain rice for making Spanish rice.  I have used both short and long.  The difference is that the short grain lends itself better to the cooking process, remaining moist and fluffy.  The long grain can hardend and dry out on you.  Just my two cents. smile.gif

post #7 of 13

I made spanish rice last night and I used Bomba for the first time.  Amazing!  I never want to buy any other rice ever again.  Too bad that 2 cups of Bomba costs $10 around here, now what do I do?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering the same thing about cava nuda (short grain rice). A 650mL container cost's $9.99 at the organic's shop. One thing I wonder about organic's is why do organics need to be expensive when local ingredients are available seasonally and not shipped/processed like corn?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by coconut View Post

I'm wondering the same thing about cava nuda (short grain rice). A 650mL container cost's $9.99 at the organic's shop. One thing I wonder about organic's is why do organics need to be expensive when local ingredients are available seasonally and not shipped/processed like corn?



Locality has little to do with it.  Organic food cannot be grown in gross bulk.  The conditions must be rigid - for example if you grow organic tomatoes there's lots of regulations you must follow such as the ground you are planting in must be a certain distance away from commercially grown tomatoes for fear of water contamination etc.  Also, the addition of hormones and pesticides in normally grown food allows for a bigger crop where as organics don't always survive and therefore make smaller crops.  If you notice, when you compare organic produce to regular produce it is often smaller in size as well.  It is more difficult to grow organic food than it is to grow non-organic food and that is why it costs more.

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ah the extra labor in growing these organic crops it does make sense to charge more of a penny. Perhaps I'm resenting the people who support commercially grown produce too much lol

post #11 of 13

Koukouvagia, locality actually has everything to do with it.Tthose things you specify only apply (and, to be frank, not as clear-cuttedly as you make it sound) if your source is the small, diverse, true organic grower.

 

On the other hand, the organics divisions of the factory farms---the only organic vegetables available to most people---are grown using essentially the same approaches as conventional crops. That is, they are mono-cropped, using F1 hyrids, and methods that lend themselves to mass production. Then the constraints of the food distribution kick in. Net result: The "organic" tomato you buy in the supermarket is no different than the one in the conventional bin right next to it. In fact, it has likely cost less to produce, but they charge more for it for the same reason a dog licks his butt---because they can.

 

Give some thought to the what you think are the benefits of organically grown vegetables. Now consider this: If we pick a tomato green, put it in cold storage, ship it an average of 1,500 miles, hit it with ethylene gas to promote pigment development, and display what is still, essentially, an unripe fruit, in a store, do you think any of those benefits truly apply, whether grown organically or not?

 

 

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 13

I've heard you speak about this before but I still don't get how something organic is exactly the same thing as non-organic.  I'm missing something for sure.  Any sources you can provide that speak to this?  When I make a decision to buy organic/non-organic I take flavor into account.  For the most part there is a world of difference between a blueberry and an organic blueberry.  Regular milk has a strange smell to my nose, I only buy organic.  I find organic lettuce to be more flavorful than run of the mill lettuce.  why is that if it's all the same?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 13

Tell me where those organics are coming from, KK, and who's growing them, and I'll tell you why they taste differently. If they actually do.

 

Generally, there are two factors involved.

 

First, to be certified as organic, the produce must comply with the Federal standards. There are no two ways about it. Those standards are based on how the crops are produced, and apply to no other aspects. So, here are two scenerios, both of which produce vegetables that are classed as organic:

 

1. A local organic grower, who sees himself as a steward of the land, puts his farm into diverse crops, choosing heirloom or other open pollinated varieties because they taste good, or hybrids with a proven record of flavor. He grows them until they ripen naturally, then delivers them, in a timely manner, directly to the market---which most often fits the mold of "alternative," such as a farmer's market, CSA, health food outlet, or small, specialty store or restaurant. Production costs are, usually, higher, and the retail prices reflect this. Flavor and other quality charactieristics always ranks high, although visually the produce might not fit the "smooth, round, red" marketing criteria we've been socialized to accept.

 

2. An organic division manager of a factory farm, who sees himself as a profit center, treats the land essentially as his opposite number on the conventional farm. The property is mono-cropped, using the same hybrid variety as the conventional division (which was chosen for many reasons, taste not being one of them). Technology often replaces the synthetic chemicals usually used, and the land continues to be flooded in herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc., using those that have been approved by the Feds (with major input from, you guessed it, the factory farmers). The produce is harvested unripe, put through various processes, and subject to all the abuses of the food distribution system. Net result: produce in the supermarket that is indistinguishable from its conventionally-grown counterpart. Higher prices do not represent higher production costs, but merely the fact that people are willing to pay it. Flavor and quality ranks low to non-existant. Visually the produce is pleasing, and always meets the smooth, round, red marketing criteria.

 

Whether or not to grow organically is just one of the choices made by a market grower. And locality either determines, or contributes significantly, to which choices are made. You cannot, for instance, let tomatoes ripen on the vine, then ship them 2,000 miles across the country.

 

The second factor has to do with varieties. Different, say, tomatoes, have different flavor profiles. And when organics proponents claim a tomato has better flavor they may be right; but it has to do both with the variety and the fact it was actually grown to ripeness.

 

What you have to understand is that a plant, any plant, has certain nutrient, sunshine, and moisture requirements. If you provide them the plant will reach it's fullest potential. In terms of nutrients, there are 16 required by vegetables, three are primary, the rest are needed in minor and trace amounts. The plant doesn't care about the source of those nutrients, so long as they are in soluble form. They can come from manure or they can come from Monsanto. To the plant it's all samee-same.

 

So, let's say you open two garden patches side-by-side, one organic the other not. Choose the same varieties, and let them ripen naturally. Then taste them. There will by no difference in flavor. On the other hand, if you grow, say, Mortgage Lifter tomatoes in the one patch, and Cherokee Purple in the other, they will taste differently. But those flavor differences have nothing to do with how they were grown.

 

Obviously, I don't know the details. But I would suggest that if there is truly a flavor difference between organic and nonorganic blueberries there is more involved than simply whether or not synthetic chemicals were used.

 

None of this should be taken as an anti-organics message. Anybody who knows me knows my feelings about that. There are many good reasons for growing organically, and that's the choice I've made. I would no sooner use synthetic chemicals than I would put a hybrid in my garden. But what I haven't done, as is the case with far too many organics proponents, is put on a set of blinders, and make claims that cannot be supported either scientifically or with blind taste tests.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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