Friday, 26 April 2013

Mexican Rice

Waaaaaay back near the beginning of this blog, I made Seafood Enchiladas for my Mom & Dad.  I desperately wanted to make Mexican Rice from scratch, but due to a basically incapacitating migraine, it took everything I had to just make those enchiladas.

And they were worth every single second of blinding pain - I think.  I remember not being able to taste anything.  But Mom and Dad RAVED.

So on to a new fresh day almost two years later and the opportunity to actually make Mexican Rice from SCRATCH!

I couldn't have been more excited.


To start, measure out and rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear - you want to get rid of all the excess starch.  Then drain the rice as much as possible.  I rinsed the rice first, shook it like mad, and let it drip dry over a bowl while I prepped everything else.

Next, quarter and scoop out the guts of a couple of "medium-sized" tomatoes.  I used romas and called it a day.


Then, peel and quarter a medium white onion.


Don't put TOO much work into it - because the tomato and onion are going to get pureed together in a food processor.


Then, half the jalapeno peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes and dice finely. 

Seeds and membranes is where the heat of the pepper comes from - if you're into a whole bunch of heat, leave 'em in.  Also, so you know, the recipe actually calls for THREE jalapenos - two with the insides scooped clean and one left intact - for heating purposes.  I used two. 

Mostly because I'm a wimp.


Next, heat the vegetable (or canola) oil in a pot over medium-high heat and add the rice.


Once the rice starts turning golden brown, reduce the heat to medium and add the jalapenos and the garlic.  Make sure you're stirring it constantly.


I need to apologise now for the blurry pictures - the rice was starting to burn and I was freaking out and in a hurry to NOT burn our dinner.

Then stir in the tomato puree.


Like this.


Then add the chicken broth and the tomato paste and bring the whole works to a boil.


Firstly, in a perfect world, I would have cooked this in a dutch oven on the stove top and then transferred it to the oven, thereby reducing the number of dishes I would have to do.  But I'm not sure if my Corningware is okay for the stove top and I'm not sure if my pots can go in the oven.

Because of my "unsureness", I transferred the rice mixture to a Corningware casserole dish, put the lid on and put THAT in the oven.

Secondly, the recipe says to bake the rice at 350 degrees F for 30 - 35 minutes, but because I was cooking meatloaf in the oven at 375 degrees, I had to adjust my cooking time on the rice. 

So I cooked it in the oven at 375 degrees F, stirring at about 10 minutes.  Then I started checking the rice at about 20 minutes.  I believe I had the rice in the oven for a total of just over 25 minutes.  Because I was just relying on my "tooth-test", I'm not really sure about the actual total time.




Thanks to Dee for the picture!  (Cause I forgot!)

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this side dish - it wasn't overly complicated but quite flavourful and felt "healthy".  You know, aside from frying the rice in oil. 

You should know that it makes A LOT.  For the three of us it was WAY too much.

I would recommend halving it as you will.

This recipe is going down as the perfect Mexican Rice.  Even though Dee asked me for Soy Sauce.

She did.

I know, I'm appalled too.

xoxo - the Cane Girl.
Mexican Rice

2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered and pulp removed
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
3 jalapeno chiles
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth (low-sodium is best)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the rice into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.  It should take about 1 1/2 minutes.  Shake to drain the water and continue to let drain while prepping the vegetables.
  3. Put the tomatoes and the onion into the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Once completely smooth and processed, pour the mixture into a measuring cup and measure to 2 cups total. 
  4. Cut 2 of the jalapenos in half and scoop out the seeds and membranes.  Then dice and set aside.  If desired, mince the third jalapeno, keeping the seeds and membranes.  Keep separate from the other two peppers.
  5. In a dutch oven or saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and fry until golden brown and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and jalapenos (without the seeds) and cook until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. 
  8. Add the tomato mixture, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
  9. Cover the dutch oven with a lid, put the lid on your saucepan if it is oven safe, or transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and cover with a lid. 
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 - 35 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  11. When the rice is cooked, stir in the cilantro and the jalapeno with seeds and membranes (if desired) and serve with lime (if desired).

2 comments:

  1. ACTUALLY.....I said its so good I don't need Soy Sauce....

    ReplyDelete