Arroz a la Mexicana, AKA Mexican Rice
Adapted from the recipe by Diana Kenedy
Freezes well. Thaw in the oven if possible.
1 1/2 cups rice
1/3 cup veg oil
8 oz tomatoes, roughly chopped (canned acceptable, small can of tomato paste also acceptable)
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
about 3 1/2 cups well-salted broth
1 small carrot, diced (optional)
2 tablespoons peas (optional)
1 whole sprig of cilantro (optional)
salt to taste
For this quantity you will need a heavy-bottomed,
flameproof pan about 4 inches deep and 9 ins across.
Pour hot water to cover the rice and let it stand for
about 5 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse well in cold
water, then shake the collander well and leave the rice
to drain for a few minutes.
Heat the oil. Give the rice a final shake and stir it into
the oil until the grains are well covered, then fry until just
turning color, stirring and turning the rice over so it
will cook evenly and will not stick to the pan. This process
should take about 10 minutes–depending, of course,
on the size of the pan–but it should be done over high
heat or the rice will become mushy in its final stage. Tip
the pan and drain off any excess oil or drain rice in
a fine strainer.
If possible, blend the tomatoes, onion, and garlic until smooth. There
should be about 1 cup. Add the puree to the fried rice,
then, continuing to cook over high heat, stir and scrape
the botom of the pan until the mixture is dry.
Add the broth, carrots, peas, and parsley. Add salt as
necessary, then stir well (do not stir again during the
cooking time.) Cook over medium heat, covered, until the
liquid has been absorbed and small air holes appear in
the rice. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove the pan
from the heat and cover the rice with a piece of terry cloth.
Cover with a tightly fitting lid so that no steam can escape
and set aside in a warm place for about 20 minutes,
so the rice can continue cooking in its own steam and
the grains will expand.
Before serving, loosen the rice with a fork from bottom.