(The “Mexican” part here is in no way intended as a promise of authenticity.)
We had fajitas for dinner, and I neglected to pick up a flavored rice mix to go with it. I usually get Near East brand, and Tobin loves it. In order to not make him cry, I improvised a Mexican-inspired rice side. He ate three plates of it. I liked it too.
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups chicken or pork stock*
1 pinch saffron threads, crumbled
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
S&P to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium-to-large plan with a lid on medium. Saute the rice grains until they’re opaque, coating well in the oil. If they get a touch browned on the edges, that’s okay. Add the stock and spices. Stir briefly and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Adjust S&P before serving.
* I happened to have some pork stock in the freezer, so that’s what I used, and it was so good. I guess it wasn’t technically stock; it was the de-fatted cooking liquid from the last time I cooked a pork shoulder. I think I cooked it with onion, garlic, and orange juice, so those flavors informed the liquid a bit.