Who knew peas were so controversial?
I’m trying to eat more whole grains, so I’m writing a Mexican brown rice recipe. My goal is the rice on the side of a combo plate from my local Tex-Mex joint. (To pair with my PC refried beans recipe.) They always have a few peas and carrots mixed in with the red rice, and I like the extra bit of color, so I added them to my recipe.
To me, the bigger question was “tomato sauce or diced tomatoes?” As part of my recipe testing, I made batches of Mexican rice to compare them, and posted a picture. No one seemed to care about how the tomatoes gave the two batches different looks. 1
Everyone did notice the peas. “Ew! Not peas!” was a common response. It’s OK! The peas are optional!2
The Great Pea Controversy aside, this is a fine batch of rice. Pressure cooking makes brown rice quick enough to serve with weeknight dinners. My problem? My kids love white rice, and when I make rice in the pressure cooker, they get suspicious. I get serious sideye and the question “Is this brown rice?” Not this time - the red rice looked like their usual Mexican restaurant combo plate, and they dug in without question. We have a winner!
Video: Pressure Cooker Mexican Brown Rice (1:40)
Pressure Cooker Mexican Brown Rice [YouTube.com]Print
Pressure Cooker Mexican Brown Rice. The classic Tex-Mex side dish, made with whole grain brown rice.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 2 cups long grain brown rice (Or brown jasmine rice)
- 2 cups water
- 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (optional)
- Minced cilantro (optional)
- Prepare the rice: Put the vegetable oil and garlic in a cold pressure cooker pot, then set the pressure cooker to sauté mode. (Use medium heat with a stovetop PC). Wait for the garlic to start to bubble around the edges, but don’t let the garlic brown, about 3 minutes. Stir the rice into the pot to coat it with the garlic oil. Stir in the water, and then pour the tomato sauce on top.
- Pressure cook the rice for 20 minutes with a natural pressure release: Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes in an electric PC or 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release any pressure left after 15 minutes if you are in a hurry).
- Stir in the extra ingredients and serve: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker - watch out for hot steam. Stir the frozen peas and carrots into the rice, then put the lid back on and let sit for 5 minutes to heat the peas and carrots. Fluff with a fork, sprinkle the minced cilantro on top, and serve.
I usually add a ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt with rice. Canned tomato sauce has a lot of sodium in it, so I don’t add salt to this recipe. If you use low- or no-sodium tomatoes, I’d add in ½ teaspoon of salt, or the rice will taste bland.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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