Did you know that almost every Peruvian entreé comes with a side of rice, and in some cases potatoes too? Potatoes, of course, are indigenous to Peru, but rice was brought to South America by the Europeans. I often enjoy that warm double-starch fusion, specially in one of my favorite dishes — Lomo Saltado, a beef and french fries stir fry served with a side of arroz.
I still remember the first time I cooked rice to help my mom with a dinner party. It was a lifetime ago, but to this day, every time I cook rice I love the smell of the garlic being sauteéd, and I enjoy the warm steam coming off the freshly cooked rice, rising to cover my face. Such a simple pleasure.
Upcoming posts will feature several dishes that call for a side of rice, so I’ll just refer to this recipe for convenience. If you don’t already make steamed rice to go with lentils or beans, for example, I encourage to try this recipe. It’s easy to make, and a great complement to a meal.
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt to taste
- 2 cups water
- a sprig of parsley for garnish
- Mince the garlic and rinse the rice with running water until the water runs clear. Drain thoroughly.
- Sauté the garlic with the canola oil in a pot over medium heat and add salt to taste.
- When the garlic starts to brown, add the washed rice and stir to coat the grains of rice with the oil and garlic.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pot, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, uncovered. Wait for the water to reduce to the level of the rice, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover until rice cooks completely, about 10 more minutes.
- Serve immediately, with a sprig of parsley as garnish.
This recipe makes enough for 4 small servings as a side dish. I like to serve the rice using a small timbale mold, it’s a visually appealing way to enhance a simple dish.
The ratio of rice to water is 1:2, or twice as much water as rice, that way it’s easy to make a larger quantity with more servings. You can get the rice from the bulk section of most markets.