NEW ORLEANS — Over the course of its 300-year history, New Orleans’ cuisine has been one of its greatest gifts to the world. Now, as we celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and WWL-TV’s 60th anniversary, our gift to you is a free e-cookbook, with free summertime recipes.

Click here to download the free "Summer Favorites" cookbook as well as the previous editions with Recipes for Cajun cooking, Lent, Global Cuisine and Holiday Recipes.

This edition of our "360 In the Kitchen" cookbook series focuses on dishes that are perfect for the long, hot south Louisiana summer. Coping with the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer has been a way of life here from the beginning. From salads and dishes with lighter sauces to icy cool desserts, our cookbook gives you some creative recipe ideas to try without sacrificing any of the flavor that New Orleans cooks are known for.

Mexican Rice:

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until grains are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Pour in stock, Rotel tomatoes, and season with cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Stir in cilantro before serving.

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More Recipes By Chef Kevin Belton:

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Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.