Jamaican-like rice

Inspired by the “Minute Rice” thread.

I was in an “island” mood today and decided to fix oxtails and I needed rice as a side dish.

I’m excited about the rice I made since I’ve never grasped Jamaican rice and peas.

I fixed a medium pot of long rice (I eyeball so I don’t know how much I used). I let it cool a bit then transferred the rice to my electric skillet. I used about a tablespoon of butter and added a can of pigeon peas (drained).

I dug through my seasoning cupboard - I was looking for Sazon and came up empty.

I found an envelope of dry onion soup mix and added the soup with another teaspoon of butter. I used chives as garnish.

Delicious - not Jamaican, but still pretty good.

Does anyone have an easy “Spanish Rice” recipe? I’d love Arroz con Pollo in the next few days.

Look on Food Network site. They have the best recipe ever.

Spanish rice the way my mother used to make it:

Melt some butter in a heated skillet, throw in some chopped onion, saute until soft and golden. Pour in a cup of raw long-grain rice, saute a bit but don’t brown. Toss in a can of chopped tomatoes and their liquid with enough added water (or stock) to make two cups. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until liquid is gone and rice is done.

Sometimes she’d brown some ground beef along with the onions to make a more substantial dish. I like to add in some garlic too.

As an aid toward authenticity, obtain achiote seed and warm them in a quantity of olive or other oil, strain out the seeds. Use the oil in making the rice. Don’t spill it anywhere you don’t want a deep red stain.

Sounds yummy. I’ll try it and let you know how it turns out. Thanks.

I’ve wondered what achiote was used for. Thanks.

I didn’t even think about The Network. I usually go to allrecipes.com, and find myself distracted somehow (oooh, shiny).

To add to this, achiote paste (recado rojo) is used throughout the Yucatan as a rub or marinade for meats (grilled achiote shrimp, cochinita pibil, pibil de pollo, poc chuc, etc.) Also, achiote (annatto seeds) are what gives cheddar cheese its orange color. Achiote has a unique, “earthy,” slightly iodine-y taste to it.

You mean Goya Sazon? I love the Coriander and Annato mix. It is my secret weapon for grilled foods.

And sub chicken or beef broth for water. That comes out great, too.

[Food and linguistic geekery]

The interesting thing (for me) about that sazon package is the translation of culantro y achiote as coriander and annato. Now, cilantro often gets translated as coriander (although for US markets, it’s usually just cilantro.) However, culantro is a different herb from a different genus than cilantro. It’s sometimes referred to as long coriander or recao (Puerto Rico), as well as a number of other names, but, in most cookbooks that use this herb, it simply remains culantro (koo-LAHN-tro.) Whatever name it goes by, I don’t think it should be translated as “coriander.”

[/food and linguistic geekery]