Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Although there’s no Mexican heritage in our ancestry, since growing up in California, this is a holiday we usually try to celebrate, particularly since we absolutely love Mexican food.

Every time we order burritoes or enchiladas or tacos from a restaurant, they come with rice and beans. Since we can’t go to a restaurant this year, I figured it was time to learn how to make my own Mexican/Spanish rice.

Basically this is a rice pilaf with tomato sauce substituted for part of the water. To me a pilaf means browning the rice in a bit of oil or butter before adding the liquid. For this version it was a about one tablespoon of oil, 1 cup of rice, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. To that I added 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 teaspoon chicken base, along with a teaspoon or so each of salt, cumin, chili powder, and a dash of pepper. Bring it to a boil, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 25 minutes.

Here’s the result!

To make the beans, I just cooked a batch of pinto beans in our Instant Pot, then mashed them with some sauteed onions and liquid from the pot. Here’s our favorite taco seasoning, which makes delicious tacos and burritoes.