Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mexican Rice


Since moving to CA I have found myself preparing more and more Mexican inspired dishes. I have even made the jump from "mild" to "medium" in regards to salsa, which I thought would never happen:) Avacados which I once feared are now a weekly occurrence. Thanks to crazy Cousin Bud and his interesting take on the holidays, within a few years we will be harvesting our own avacados from the tree he gave us for Christmas a few years back. Regardless of the main dish, enchiladas, tacos, chili relleno casserole, I always make Mexican Rice as a side. I have tried several different recipes and finally found one we all really enjoy. While this recipe is inspired by an existing one, this is my take on the versatile side.

Mexican Rice

(My adaption of a classic recipe.)

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 chopped medium white onion
2 diced jalapanos
2 cups long grain white rice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
A large handful of minced fresh cilantro
1 lime

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine tomato, onion and jalaponos in processor or blender until pureed completely smooth. Transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve 2 cups.

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear- about 1 or 2 minutes.Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.

Heat the olive oil in heavy bottomed ovensafe 12 inch straight sided sautee pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over medium high heat about 2 minutes. Drop a few rice grains in, 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, add garlic and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, pureed mixture, tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.

Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.Stir well 15 minutes into the cooking time and return to oven.

Stir in the juice from the lime and the minced cilantro.









Terry has said over and over again that this Mexican Rice is better than any he has had in a restaurant. The consistency of restaurant rice was something I had trouble reproducing until I found this original recipe. Rinsing the rice and frying it in the oil are the two techniques that set this rice apart from rest. This rice can seem a bit time consuming, but it is well worth the effort. It freezes well so we usually make a large batch and freeze what we don't eat. We served it along side of beef enchiladas and Terry's guacamole. I hope you enjoy this Mexican Rice as much as we do, I have never received anything less than a rave review when adding this to a meal!

-Heather

2 comments:

Ericka said...

Heather, I finally tried this recipe. I have looked at it for months on the Cooking Light boards, but never had the courage to try it until you posted it. Thanks for the recipes and the step by step instructions, they are great!

Heather Williams said...

Ericka,

I am so glad that you tried this recipe, it is excellent! You will never go back to your old Mexican rice again! Keep up the experimentation and happy cooking!

-Heather