Rick Bayless’s Red Tomato Rice

Red Tomato Rice

  • 12 ounces (2 medium-small round or 4 to 6 plum) very ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped OR one 15-ounce can good-quality whole tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth or water
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice, preferably medium grain
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 3 serranos or 2 jalapenos) a slit cut down the length of each one.
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups defrosted frozen or cooked fresh peas (tender tiny ones will need to simmer as little as 4 minutes, larger ones as much as 15

The tomato flavoring and broth:  In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes (raw or drained canned) with the onion and garlic. Blend to a smooth puree; you should have 1 generous cup.

In a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, heat the broth or water until steaming; stir in about 3/4 teaspoon salt if using lightly salted broth, 1 1/2 teaspoons if using unsalted broth or water. Cover and keep warm.

Frying the raw rice: In a medium (3-quart) saucepan (one that’s about 8 inches in diameter is perfect for even cooking) with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium. When hot, add the raw rice and stir regularly until the grains have turned from translucent to milky-white, 5 to 6 minutes– it is fine if some of the grains begin to brown. Add the tomato mixture and carrots and stir around  a couple of times, then let cook until any liquid is reduced and the mixture is somewhat dry-looking, 2 to 3 minutes.

Simmering the rice: Add the warm broth or water, chiles and parsley, stir thoroughly and scrape down the any rice grains clinging to the side of the pan. Cover and cook over the lowest heat for 15 minutes– the temperature should be low enough that only the slightest hint of steam escapes from the lid.

Remove the pan from the heat, uncover it and quickly distribute the peas over the rice. Re-cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and test a grain of rice: if it’s still a little hard, re-cover the pan and set over low heat for about 5 minutes; if the rice has absorbed all the liquid (and is completely dry), sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of water before returning it to the heat.

As soon as it is done, gently fluff the rice to release the steam and stop the cooking, then turn it into a warm bowl–and it’s ready to serve. You can remove and discard the chiles if you wish, or pull them out to use as a decoration on top of the rice.

Mexico, One Plate at a TimeYield: 6 to 8 servings

From: Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless

Gray: I thought this turned out well.  The carrots were a little hard, but they were very old carrots from my garden, so I should have cooked them a little longer.  The recipe was spot on for the timing and preparation.  I definitely would make this again, and I’d love to try it with fresh tomatoes instead of canned.  It took a while to make because I made chicken broth to start with, but the actual recipe is very quick.  (The prep took as long as the cooking.) I hope you will try it and enjoy it!

Katie: This was really good! I liked it except for the carrots. The carrots ended up too firm for my taste, so I would either cook the carrots more before adding to the rice or just omit them. We had the rice as a side to grilled chicken with adobe seasoning on it as well as enchiladas. Both were excellent! I love Mexican rice and I am excited to find a good recipe!

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