My Dad loved to have his rice cooked this way, which he used to call “Arroz a la Morisqueta”, since that’s how they call it in the region alongside the Gulfof Mexico, where my hometown of Tampico is located. This is not to be confused with another dish that’s also called “Morisqueta” in the west coast, particularly in the state of Michoacán. That other dish has rice and beans mixed with other spices, similar to the cuban dish “Moros con Cristianos”.
The rice in this recipe will make a terrific compliment to dishes like Mole Poblano, Asado de Puerco, Short Ribs in Green Sauce, and many other Mexican stews. It also makes a nice dinner topped with a fried egg and served with some fried plantains.The preparation of this rice varies from region to region but the end result is the same. You can also cook it using lard like they do in some areas of Tecamachalco, Puebla. This just brought back the memory of a farm wedding I attended there, where the Mole Poblano was served with white rice cooked in lard. Now whenever I make Mole Poblano at home, I add a dab of lard to the vegetable oil that I fry the rice in.
Ingredients for 4 Servings
- 1 Cup of Rice
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 small garlic clove
- 3 Tbs. white onion chopped
- 2 Tbs. Vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- A few drops of lime or lemon juice
- Optional: 1 or 2 sprigs of parsley or cilantro, 1 Serrano pepper
2. Meanwhile, place the chopped onion, clove of garlic and 1/2 cup of cold water in a blender and process until you have a smooth mixture.
3. After 15 minutes, drain the water and rinse the rice with the help of a colander and cold water until water is clear. Make sure to drain well and shake any excess water, it has to be as dry as possible.
4. Add vegetable oil to a saucepan or Cazuela and place over a medium high heat. Heat oil and add the rice. Fry the rice, stirring constantly until it becomes transparent, about 12 minutes. With the help of a spoon, drain any excess oil after this step.
6. Add the hot water, parsley sprigs, and Serrano pepper (if using) and a few drops of lime juice.
7. When the water starts boiling, lower the heat to the lowest temperature, season with salt to your own taste and cover the saucepan. Do not remove the lid.
8. After 20 minutes the water should be absorbed almost completely. The rice should look cooked and soft. Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Discard the sprig of parsley and serve. Rice will keep cooking with its own heat.
- Be careful not to over brown rice while it is frying.
You can also use Chicken broth instead of the water or chicken bullion dissolved in water, but then your rice won’t have a white color.
If the water evaporates before the rice is cooked, add more hot water over the rice. About 1/3 of a cup, making sure not to mix the rice again.
Some cooks prefer to add the garlic and finely chopped onion while frying rice.
- The grains of rice should be cooked and fluffy when the rice is done.