Mexican Red Rice

serves 6-8

1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained 

1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered

3 jalapeno chiles, ribs and seeds removed, minced

2 cups long-grain white rice

3 Tablespoons canola oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 to 2 limes, cut into wedges for serving

Adjust oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Process tomatoes and onion in the bowl of a food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.  Transfer mixture to a liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups.  If necessary, spoon off excess so that the volume equals 2 cups.  

Place rice in a large fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 minute.  Shake rice vigorously in sieve to remove excess water.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add garlic and half of the minced jalapenos; cook stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato and onion puree, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt, stirring until thoroughly combined. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff the rice with a fork.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  

Stir in the cilantro and remaining jalapenos to taste.  Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.  Enjoy!

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