Mexican Rice

by Beth on February 25, 2009

I’ve tried a number of different Mexican rice recipes over the past few years, but none of them were quite right. When I saw this recipe on Dinner & Dessert, I knew I needed to give it a whirl. Since my husband Mike and I were planning a Mexican night with company last weekend, this seemed like the perfect side dish to try out.

This Mexican Rice recipe is a great find! It does take awhile to prepare this dish, but the finished product is certainly worth the effort. It has a great flavor, and was the perfect accompaniment for our black bean and turkey burritos. This recipe makes a lot of rice, but I’ll be following Erin’s recommendations and freezing the leftovers. It will be nice to be able to pull perfectly-flavored rice from the freezer any time I want.

Mexican Rice (source: Cook?s Illustrated September 2004)
found on Dinner & Dessert

2 ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered

1 medium onion, preferably white, peeled, trimmed of root end, and quartered

3 medium jalapeno chiles

2 cups long grain white rice

1/3 cup canola oil

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 ? teaspoons table salt

? cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary. Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups). Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalape?os and discard; mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalape?o, including ribs and seeds; set aside.

Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed ovensafe 12-inch straight-sided saut? pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and seeded minced jalape?os; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and reserved minced jalape?o with seeds to taste. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.

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