Mexifornian Rice

2 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. white rice
4 T. tomato sauce (1/4 of an 8 oz. can)
1 C. water
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
4 oz. C&W brand "Ultimate Southwest Blend" vegetables (see note)
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil then saute onions and garlic until tender. Add rice and continue to saute for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water, seasonings, vegetables and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to the lowest possible flame and cook under minimal heat for 20 minutes. (Do not disturb the pan before the end of cooking. I emphasize, do not uncover the pan, keep the lid on tight.) Remove cover, fluff up rice, then recover and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 3 voracious people or 4 reasonable eaters. Enjoy! :-)

Note: Use any blend of frozen corn, black beans, poblano peppers, roasted onions and red peppers—or substitute any mix of frozen peas and corn. If substituting, you may include in the saute some finely diced red or green bell peppers, or both.

Credit: My own original recipe.

Filed under Side Dishes   Tagged signature, Mexican