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Old 12-04-2006, 10:36 PM   #1
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ISO Mexican rice recipe

My family would like me to try to duplicate the rice you get at some Mexican restaurants - the rice that is yellow with maybe a speckle of veggies (onion, pepper, carrot or corn would be O.K.), but no tomatoes. Any ideas would be so appreciated!

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:48 PM   #2
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I've seen saffron flavored rice in packets at the grocery store. Add your own veggies and make it your own! Or buy uncooked rice, and buy your own saffron, but saffron is expensive.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:15 PM   #3
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I would look for achiote or annato seeds and use those to make achiote oil to get the yellow color.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:40 PM   #4
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chorizo oils from mexican sausage. they use it to cook the starch off rice. I saw some ladies cooking their rice and wondered why it was not boiling dry. I've never tried it.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:50 PM   #5
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Actually, Zatarains makes a darn good yellow rice mix. Has onions, red & green bell peppers, & light seasoning. And best of all - not salty, like most commercial rice mixes.

I've used it many times as a base for quick Spanish paella-type seafood dishes or as a side for enchiladas.
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:44 AM   #6
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PytnPlace, Mexican rice is fairly similar to Chinese Fried Rice except that it is vegetarian. The ingredients for Saffron Rice is 1 cup long-grain rice, 1 chopped green pepper, 1 chopped red pepper, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp garlic powder/fresh garlic, 1/4 tsp saffron, olive oil. To prepare, saute onion, peppers until soft, add rice and cook briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring it to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed by the rice.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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Thanks for that recipe Boufa06. It's funny that in all the Mexican cookbooks I have, not one seems to have an easy "basic" recipe for Mexican rice.

If I can scare up my saffron, I'll definitely be trying your recipe to accompany my next batch of enchiladas!!
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:03 AM   #8
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You are most welcome Breezy. There is also another version which has chopped tomatoes and garden peas minus the saffron.
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Actually, Zatarains makes a darn good yellow rice mix. Has onions, red & green bell peppers, & light seasoning. And best of all - not salty, like most commercial rice mixes.

I've used it many times as a base for quick Spanish paella-type seafood dishes or as a side for enchiladas.
Thanks for the hint. I like Zatarains mixes a lot, but haven't tried that one. I'll try making a quick paella with it. Since I've never had the real thing, do you have any hints?
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:10 AM   #10
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Thanks soooo much for all of your helpful hints. I'm really enjoying this forum - which is so great due to all of you! I'm going to try Boufa's and Skilletlicker's ideas and look to see if Zatarin's carries yellow rice mix here - we may be a little to north of the border for that. But really, all of you have some great ideas that I will incorporate.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:49 AM   #11
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I wasn't aware that Mexican style yellow rice had saffron in it. Most mexican food has some pretty humble origins and saffron is definitely not humble.

I've always eaten it served with seafood, and always though it was cooked in fish or shellfish stock of some sort, or maybe vegetable stock and picked up its color that way. It could just be the seafood flavors throughout the dish that gave me this impression though.

Anyone have info about the origins of it?
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:43 AM   #12
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There may be other ways to do it but I'd bet most recipes get the yellow color from turmeric, saffron, or achiote (annotto) seeds in that order. In spite of being of pretty humble origins myself, and being predisposed to value simple inexpensive ingredients, saffron is probably a lot more common than you think. Not withstanding widespread poverty, if Mexico isn't the richest nation in the hemisphere south of the Rio Grande, it is certainly one of them. Combined with the Spanish influence, that alone would lead you to expect the use of a lot of expensive stuff the the Incas and Aztecs never heard of.
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Anyone have info about the origins of it?
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:14 PM   #13
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Constance - paella can be virtually anything & everything you want to make it. There are dozens of versions - some with just meat, some with game, some with seafood, some with combo's of all of the above. It really started as a Spanish peasant dish utilizing whatever was available at the time.

For my "quicky" version, I buy a bag of frozen seafood mix that contains precooked squid, cuttlefish, octopus, shrimp, mussels, & clams. I saute that in some extra-virgin olive oil, along with some chopped onion, red bell pepper, garlic, & parsley. I then add a can of canned, drained artichoke quarters & a handfull or 2 of frozen green peas. Sometimes I'll also add & saute a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces. A few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes & everything gets piled onto the Zatarains Yellow Rice mix. So far, everyone I've served this to has loved it.
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PytnPlace
My family would like me to try to duplicate the rice you get at some Mexican restaurants - the rice that is yellow with maybe a speckle of veggies (onion, pepper, carrot or corn would be O.K.), but no tomatoes. Any ideas would be so appreciated!
The following might also help answer some of your questions college_cook

Basic Mexican rice (at least where I live) is not yellow - and it does contain some tomatoes ... garlic, onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth or water, etc.

Spanish rice may be similar but without the tomatoes and colored yellow from spices/herbs - colored from saffron or turmuric, maybe later in history by achiote (as skilletlicker suggested).
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:36 AM   #15
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First you want to sautee or fry the uncooked rice in oil ( corn, olive, vegetable). Cook it till it starts to slightly brown. Add your water and and Knorr Caldo de Pollo (Chicken base which gives a yellow tint) or Sazon con achiote (Mexican Seasoning blend found in Mexican Markets which will also give you the flavor and color. When cooked add frozen mixed veggies and let set till veegies get hot.

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Old 12-07-2006, 12:34 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone, for my question about the origins of the dish.

I know some of you mentioned achiote could be used for a yellowish color, but the only achiote oil I have ever seen is the stuff we use at work, and it is decidedly red. Can it come in both colors?
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
Thanks everyone, for my question about the origins of the dish.

I know some of you mentioned achiote could be used for a yellowish color, but the only achiote oil I have ever seen is the stuff we use at work, and it is decidedly red. Can it come in both colors?
I don't about the stuff at work or anything store-bought but homemade is also decidedly red. If you use it like you would use any other oil to make a pilaf type dish, the rice will be yellow.

Edit:

And it will have a very slight but, in my opinion, pleasantly distinctive flavor.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #18
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It's like food coloring. The yellow is a very deep looking redish orange until it is diluted and then becomes yellow. Check out the Sazon seasoning depending on where you live you might even find it your super markets.

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Old 12-07-2006, 04:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
Thanks everyone, for my question about the origins of the dish.

I know some of you mentioned achiote could be used for a yellowish color, but the only achiote oil I have ever seen is the stuff we use at work, and it is decidedly red. Can it come in both colors?
I don't look for, and wouldn't buy, achiote oil. Look for the seeds in the spice section. Check the Mexican spice section if there is one. They put you in mind of reddish brown colored, pencil eraser sized, pyramid shaped seeds and would be called achiote or annatto seeds. I think the Daisy link in my earlier post listed olive oil. Personally, I use canola oil because I keep it in the ice box for a long time and I don't like it to separate.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Thanks for that recipe Boufa06. It's funny that in all the Mexican cookbooks I have, not one seems to have an easy "basic" recipe for Mexican rice.

If I can scare up my saffron, I'll definitely be trying your recipe to accompany my next batch of enchiladas!!
I'd have thought "Mexican" rice was probably not Mexican at all, but a Western invention, which is why you won't find it in Mexican cookbooks.

I've eaten "Arroz Verde" in Mexico ( rice with spinach) and "Bandera Mexicana" - 3-coloured rice, the same colours as the Mexican flag.

Achiote /annato/onoto is the most likely colouring agent, rather than saffron.

However, "Mexican" rice is delish - go ahead and make some!
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