Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mexican Rice

I doubt this recipe is authentic Mexican cuisine, but it’s what is served in restaurants as Mexican rice, and we really like it. As a matter of fact, the first time the Little Prince decided he likes rice, it was when he tasted a dish like this. It worked again this time, he liked it! And so did we. I served it with meatballs with quinoa.

1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt (or less, if your stock is salted)
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup neutral cooking oil, such as canola or safflower (or rendered lard)
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 to 2 chile peppers, such as jalapeño or serrano, seeded and minced (I omitted that)
4 to 5 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
juice from 2 limes, plus additional wedges for serving

Place the tomatoes and onion in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Transfer 2 cups of the tomato mixture to a medium saucepan. Stir in the chicken stock, salt, and cumin and bring liquid to a boil over medium heat. (Reserve excess for another use, like tomato sauce.)

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is sizzling, add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently until lightly toasted and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the jalapeños (if using) and cook until they have softened, about 2 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Pour the boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and cook, covered, until liquid has evaporated and rice is done, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir the rice. Re-cover the pot and allow to rest undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes. Add cilantro and lime juice; fluff gently with a fork. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve with additional lime wedges.

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