Have you ever thought about Mexico beyond the tequila and those alluring beaches? Mexico is a rich country in which you’ll find amazing landscapes, listen to great music and enjoy the beauty of their Spanish dialect – but this is not about the pros of visiting Mexico, at least not about all of them. Mexico has a great deal to offer and everything comes with a delicious meal aside. That’s right, Mexico cuisine is one of those you’ll want to try at least once in a lifetime and, preferably, by the Riviera Maya.
Mexican cuisine: the origins
Mexican gastronomy is flavour-packed and that has to do with the origins of it and the way it developed in time. The area that is now called Mexico was once inhabited by ancient communities such as the Aztecs and the Mayans to name a few. These civilizations came up and quite efficiently developed ways of planting, harvesting vegetables and preserving food. That’s why you’ll find a great mix of vegetables and fruits in Mexican dishes.
The conquest brought along many new ingredients which they took and adapted wonderfully. Nowadays, ingredients such as rice and oil are just as commonly found as maize, beans and fresh vegetables. In fact, one of the most common recipes in Mexico has rice as its key ingredient, and surely you don’t need to travel to the Riviera to taste an authentic Mexican rice recipe.
Mexican Rice is also known as red rice and even Spanish Rice due to the fact that it is originally from a Spanish-speaking country. This dish is representative of Mexican gastronomy because it combines tradition, simplicity and health. It’s a great side dish which doesn’t take long to make and it is easily stored. You’ll need tomato sauce and chicken or vegetable broth which you can make yourself and beforehand to make the process shorter. In that sense, if you don’t have enough time, you can use pre-made versions of both, but here, you’ll find a recipe for each part of the recipe.
- 1 cup of water.
- 2 tomatoes.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and chop the garlic.
- Pour only one cup of water in your blender or mixer and add the tomatoes and the garlic. Mix until you get your sauce.
- Add an extra cup of water if you like your sauce more watery.
Chicken and vegetables broth
- 3 cups of water.
- 2 chicken thighs.
- 2 celeries.
- 2 carrots.
- 1 chopped onion.
- Bay leaves.
- Roughly chop all the vegetables and do the same with the chicken thighs.
- In a big pot, pour three cups of water and add both the vegetables and the chicken.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and let it cook for an hour on a medium heat. Set aside.
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- 2 cups of rice.
- 1 onion.
- 2 tomatoes.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- 2 cups of chicken and vegetables broth.
- 1 cup of tomato sauce.
- Pre-heat a big-size pan and pour some extra virgin olive oil. Add two cups of rice and brown it. Make sure it doesn’t get burned by stirring continuously. Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes until it fully browns.
- Add a previously sliced onion and chopped tomatoes and garlic. You can always add more of any, they are just some suggested quantities. Sauté everything for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the one cup of tomato sauce and mix. Cook for a couple of minutes and add two cups of chicken and vegetables broth. Mix and make sure the liquids blend together.
- Season the mix with some salt and pepper and add a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
- At this point, cover the pan with a lid and let the mix cook until it comes to a boil. Once it boils, take the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about twenty minutes. Do not lift the lid at any point.
- After that time, turn the heat off and let it rest for about ten minutes so it keeps cooking with the steam.
- Lift the lid and give it a taste to check the seasoning. Add whatever it needs and serve. Enjoy!
Final Tip: If you want to make a vegan version of it, do not include the chicken in the broth.