Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mexican Rice

Although we love going out to eat Mexican food, we also cook it at home quite often. A few years ago, we saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they made Mexican Rice. When I looked the recipe up online, you were required to subscribe in order to view it...and I was much too cheap for that! It was also before the day of the "I can't live without it" DVR. So, we winged the recipe best we could. I've changed it a little here and there, but it is definitely our go to recipe for Mexican Rice. This recipe cooks partially on the stove and partially in the oven. While I am quite sure you could cook it entirely on the stove, I like being able to put it in the oven and not have to fuss over it the entire time.

2 cups medium or long grain rice
1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
olive oil
1 to 2 tbsp tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes or tomato puree
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots (optional)

1. Put rice in a strainer and run cold water over it until the water is almost clear. Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add rice, onions, garlic and cumin and cook until tender and lightly browned; about 10 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While rice is browning, put the diced tomatoes in a blender and pulse until smooth. (if you use tomato puree, there is no need to blend). Once rice is browned, add tomato paste and 2 cups of the tomato mixture; stir and cook about a minute. Add 1 3/4 cups chicken broth and the peas and carrots and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Place lid on skillet and place in the preheated oven. After 15 minutes, stir rice. Cook for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes then stir and serve.

This rice also freezes well. To reheat, place frozen rice in a steamer bag and heat.


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