I think Mexican rice is usually too dry and has little flavor.  However, this rice proved it doesn’t have to be.  This is a great side dish to any Mexican-inspired meal, and Corrie was a big fan.  Initially I was on the fence, but the extra lime juice at the end really made this a success for me, so don’t skip it!

Mexican Rice

Recipe found at Big Black Dog; adapted from RecipeZaar

  • 12 ounces ripe tomatoes, chopped into chunks (I ended up using 1/2 a fresh tomato and half canned, because the fresh I had wasn’t enough!) Note that you only need 2 cups of combined tomato and onion so don’t go overboard.
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped into chunks
  • 1-2 medium jalapeños depending on your spiciness preference (I used 1 very large jalapeno)
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or I would assume you could make this vegetarian using water or a mix of water and vegetable broth)
  • 1 Tbsp.  tomato paste (can be omitted if using canned tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • Lime for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (oven rack in middle position).

Puree tomato and onion in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.  Measure out 2 cups and discard any remaining.  Discard the ribs and seeds from the jalapeños, then mince the jalapeños.

**IMPORTANT STEP; DO NOT OMIT.** In order to remove the starch from the rice (so that it doesn’t stick and is fluffy), rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water until water runs clear (approx.  1 1/2 min.).  Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.

Heat oil in heavy bottomed oven safe 12-inch straight-sided saute pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over medium-high heat about 2 minutes.   Drop a few rice grains in and if they sizzle then it is ready. Add rice and fry stirring until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and jalapeños.  Stir constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Then, add the puree, broth, tomato paste, (if using) and salt.  Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, cover pot and transfer to the oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.   Stir well after 15 minutes.

Add in cilantro and more jalapeño if desired.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

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