I've always been a big fan of traditional mexican cuisine. I also tend to find that whenever I visit a Mexican restaurant my two favorite foods on the menu are the rice and beans. Too often I'll order a large platter and when the server returns to collect it the main course is largely untouched - but save a few straggling grains the rice and beans are long gone.
After struggling to find a recipe that replicated that fluffy, flavorful rice I've finally settled on this version. It isn't gummy like many of the recipes I've tried and because the majority of the cooking takes place in the oven it's one of the easiest side dishes one can make.
Or, if you're like me, it's a filling, inexpensive, tasty main course.
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs removed and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups white rice, rinsed
2 cups chicken/vegetable stock
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime wedges
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Puree the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and garlic until smooth, set aside. In a heavy bottomed skillet with lid heat the oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the rice and cook, moving constantly, until the grains of rice begin to brown. Add the tomato mixture and the stock and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and place in oven. Let cook for twelve minutes and then stir to fluff. If the rice isn’t quite finished yet return it to the oven for a few more minutes. Mix in the chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the rice.