Arroz Rojo is a simple side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to Mexican and Mexican style meals. Rice was introduced to Mexico via Philippines in the 1500s and has since become fully incorporated into the cuisine. The red hue of Arroz Rojo is created with the addition of pureed tomatoes. It is seasoned with chiles, garlic, and cilantro. To make this even more healthy, you can always add a few chopped vegetables. Carrots, peas, and zucchini are popular additions. Long grain white rice is best for this dish.
Since I made this a month ago before tomato season, I used a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes. You can always substitute for 14.5 ounces of fresh diced tomatoes if making this during the summer.
Arroz Rojo (Mexican Red Rice)
Adapted from The Galley Gourmet, from Cook’s Illustrated, September 2004
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups uncooked long grain rice, rinsed until water is clear
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 jalapeno chiles, deseeded and minced, divided
2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
In the bowl of a food processor or a large blender, puree the tomatoes and onion until smooth. Reserve 2 cups.
In a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid, drizzle oil over medium high heat. Pour in the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Stir in the garlic and half of the jalapenos. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in 2 cups of the tomato puree, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer undisturbed for 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork. Cover again and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with cilantro, remaining jalapenos, and lime wedges.