Friday, November 5, 2010

Arroz Mexicano/Rojo (Mexican Rice)

2 cups chicken broth
3-4 tomatoes (I use roma but any work)
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c fine basmati or other long grain white rice
1 scant tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1-2 whole hot chiles, preferably serrano or jalapeno

Puree tomatoes and chicken broth in a blender or food processor (some cooks strain the puree, but I find it unnecessary.  Keep the fiber).  Saute carrots and onion in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook  another minute or two.  Add rice and cook until it starts to turn golden, 2-3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Let sit covered 5-10 minutes before serving.

A cast iron enamel pan is best for this because it retains heat so well.  If rice is gummy or slightly undercooked after the 20 minutes are up, throw the whole pot (covered) in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  This will allow the rice to continue cooking and suck up any residual moisture without becoming a sticky mess on the top of the stove.

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