Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice
We had a family reunion today. It had a Mexican theme and my cousin made her homemade chicken enchiladas. I thought this rice  would be good to go with them.  This recipe is quick and from the time you start you can be ready to go in about 15 minutes! 

For this recipe I used Knorr Mexican Rice Fiesta Sides. I used three packages since I was preparing for a crowd. I made the recipe according to directions on the package except I replaced about 1/4 cup of the water with the juice from the can of tomatoes with green chilies and  I used real butter instead of margarine.
I love these pickled carrots! We always have them in stock! They are good to add to salsa, on top of nachos, enchiladas or re-fried beans. Sometimes I eat them with sandwiches instead of chips on the side.
With slotted spoon, take carrots out of the can and quarter each carrot. Be sure and spoon out some of the jalapeno peppers to add to your dish along with the carrots.
Right before the rice has completed cooking, gently stir in the  tomatoes and green chilies, peas, carrots and peppers. Stir until they have warmed.
After you have removed your rice from the heat, gently stir in about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. Did you know that a lot of the flavor of cilantro is in its stems? Use the stems too!
Garnish your rice with additional fresh cilantro and a few carrots and peppers and it is good to go!

Our family reunion was great! It was so good to see everyone and reminisce about old times! For many, many years we had our family reunion at old concrete picnic tables at a park right outside the Fort Worth Zoo on the first Sunday in June. We always had so many people there! We would enjoy our meal, play baseball, swing on the swing sets, ride the little train that went around the property and then go to the zoo. Over the years my friends always made fun of me when I said I had my family reunion at the zoo!!!!

Mom always fried chickens to take early in the morning. She also always made pimiento cheese sandwiches to take. For dessert we had homemade cobblers and pies and every family would bring a freezer of homemade ice cream. Sometimes we would hand-crank the ice cream there at the park. Those were the days! Kids would sit on the ice cream maker to hold it still while others cranked it. It was so hot at the park, the ice cream would melt over your cobbler while you were eating it. I will never forget that wonderful taste!
This is a picture of our reunion at the park by the Fort Worth Zoo in 1967.  I am sitting in a lawn chair with my brother Steven on the right side of the photo. 

Our reunion today was indoors in a cool home but just as special as days gone by. I treasure time with my family and today's gathering was a treasure indeed! I hope your family still has reunions. Some families seldom get together. We do every chance we get and my husband's family reunion is next weekend in West, Texas. We are expecting a huge crowd, good Czech music and horseshoe and washer tournaments. I cannot wait!
Mexican Rice
3 packages of Knorr Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice
1-10/1/2 oz can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1/2 Cup Sliced Pickled Carrots
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1/4 Cup Cilantro

Place 1/2 Cup of frozen peas in a bowl of water to thaw.

Prepare rice according to directions except for two changes I made.  I substituted real butter for margarine and I drained the juice from the can of Diced tomatoes and Green Chilies and used that for part of the water requirement.

While rice is cooking, quarter carrots and chop cilantro.

Right before rice has completed cooking at tomatoes and green chilies, carrots and jalapenos. Drain peas and add them. Gently stir and cook for one minute.  Right before serving, stir in cilantro.

Arrange rice on serving dish and garnish with additional cilantro, carrots, and jalapenos.

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