May 17, 2011

Mexican Rice

As I mentioned earlier, Stud and I celebrated Cuatro de Mayo with shrimp tacos and Mexican rice.  Since the tacos basically involved cooking shrimp and mixing some mayo, I decided I would take a stab at homemade Mexican rice.  There are a thousand recipes out there, so to start, I went with Cooks Illustrated (this blog could really be an ad for their recipes) and was not disappointed.  This recipe was a little long and next time I might try a more abbreviated version.

Mexican Rice
2 tomatoes
1 medium white onion
2 jalapenos
2 c. white rice
1/3 c. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 c. chicken broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 ½ t. salt

In the bowl of a food processor, add the tomato, onion, and tomato paste and puree until smooth.  Meanwhile, core and dice the jalapenos.  Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer.  The combination of rinsing the rice and then frying it keeps the individual grains (according to Cooks).  Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot (about 12”).  I ignored this and used my normal dutch oven which was a little small.  The rice was not completely cooked.  Just make sure you have a tight lid.  Once the oil is ready, add the rice and fry until they are golden brown.  Reduce the heat to medium and add in the garlic and jalapenos and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add in the pureed tomato mixture, chicken broth, and salt.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Cooks has you cook it in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Whichever floats your boat.  Once it’s finished, garnish with fresh cilantro and lime if available.

I actually think this could use a little more heat, maybe an extra jalapeno or a habanero or something.  But it was so good with the pureed tomoato and onion as the base of the rice, it added so much flavor.  I think next time I will try some shortcuts and see if I end up with as much flavor and if not, add another jalapeno.  And cook it in the proper size pot…  I ended up mixing mine into all the shrimpy adobo mayo salsa goodness and it made for excellent leftovers. 

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