Thursday, August 9, 2012

recipes : easy salsa & (also easy) spanish rice

Hi y'all! The boys woke up early this morning. Both of them. Which is quite troubling since Joey is busy helping out the local football team with their two-a-days right now. Thankfully, he had time to feed McCrae while I hopped in the shower. If it's one thing that I've learned as a mom of two under two, it's that you take advantage of any shower time you can get. And I'm really awesome at doing things one-handed. And my diaper changing speed and skill is seriously Olympic gold medal worthy. 

But all of that has absolutely nothing to do with my post today. Except that maybe these recipes are so easy you could do them in the shower, one-handed, while changing a diaper, at the Olympics. Maybe. 

Last week I shared a yummy recipe for Sour Cream Enchiladas. This week, I'm including the sides. 

First off is the Spanish Rice. I can't really take a lot of credit for this one because I found the recipe online. But here's the thing, I love Spanish rice. And for a long time I used the pre-seasoned packets for Taco Rice, Spanish Rice, etc. and none of them were up to par. My few attempts at making it any other way, definitely didn't work out. So it got to a point where if I was fixing Mexican food and was having people over, I'd ask them to bring the rice. Hoping, that they would have a yummy recipe I could borrow, or at the very least, the would be opening a packet just like I would have done. 

Then I found this recipe. Life changed. I don't have any Hispanic heritage, but when I make this rice, I make other people's Hispanic heritage proud. And it's seriously easy. So here you go: 

Ingredients : 

2 TB oil
2 TB chopped onion
1 1/2 cups of uncooked instant white rice
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa

Directions : 

1. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender. 
2. Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice turns a clear, almost golden brown color, stir in the chicken broth and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. 

Those are the basic instructions. Very easy, very delicious. You will amaze people at your authentic Mexican dish. They will be in awe. 

Now, just a few variations and tips : 

♥ If you don't have onion, just use onion powder. 
♥ If you use the low sodium chicken broth, add a little garlic salt to the skillet when you pour in the chicken broth and salsa. 
♥ THE SALSA IS KEY. Seriously. The salsa is what makes this dish amazing, so it will only be as good as the salsa you use. The first time I used Pace Picante Sauce and while it was yummy, it wasn't as good as it could have been. Now, I use Leal's brand salsa, which, unless you live around here, you aren't going to be able to find because it's a locally made salsa. But Leal's isn't chunky at all, but it's still delicious. So don't think you have to have the chunky salsa the recipe calls for. But find a good salsa that you love, and it will make this dish come alive with flavor and goodness. For reals. 

Next up is my salsa recipe. This is especially important as football season approaches because we have Salsa Saturdays! We're big college football fans. (I say "we" because Joey is a fanatic and I like watching it and keeping up with certain teams *cough* OU *cough*.) During football seasons, on Saturdays I make salsa and we let people know that anyone can come over and stay for as little or as long as they'd like, and just hang out watching football and eating chips and salsa. Voila! Salsa Saturdays!

My salsa recipe isn't difficult, but I must warn you, I eyeball everything when it comes to the salsa. So if you're looking for a recipe with exact ingredients, sorry, this isn't it. Which is great because some people like a little more jalapeno, some more cilantro, it's completely up to you on how you make it. But here are the basics : 

I make mine in a blender, so get your blender out. Blenders also make it easy to pour into individual cups. 

Ingredients : 

2 cans of ro-tel (or more if you want a lot of salsa)
a spoonful minced garlic 
a squirt lemon juice
jalapeno (Remove the seeds and just add a bit of jalapeno at a time, I learned this the hard way. Also make sure you THOROUGHLY wash your hands after handling the jalapeno before you touch your eye. I also learned this the hard way. And if you don't do this, and you touch your eye, throw that contact away. Do NOT try to put it back in your eye, even if you rinse it off. Wow, jalapenos are very educational.)
seasonings - I use fajita seasoning, onion powder, creole seasoning, and a smidge of sugar. 

In your blender combine all of your ingredients. Blend thoroughly and take a taste. (This is the fun part. Standing over the salsa with the chip bag and "taste-testing".) Not hot enough? Add more jalapeno. Need more cilantro? Cut off a few more sprigs and throw in there. The great thing is that you can really add more ingredients until you get the taste just right for your family. Perfect! 

This is also a really cheap snack because the ro-tel is about $1/can, and if you make it often like I do, you can buy a big jar of minced garlic and lemon juice to always keep on hand. I can go down to the grocery store and get fresh cilantro and jalapeno when I'm ready to make salsa and it's less than a dollar for those. So really easy and inexpensive, and oh so perfect for watching football!


Also, BB is now tall enough to open doors and climb onto the couches. Nothing is safe in my house anymore. And this picture pretty much says it all: 

1 comment:

  1. Loving this recipe, and I'm also loving that toddler quote haha! Xo


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