Arroz a la Mexicana
NotesMexican cooks never stir the rice when it is cooking they say it will become mushy and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Textureherby, savory
- 1 ½ cups (375ml) long-grain white rice
- ¼ to 1/3 cup (63-83 ml) vegetable oil
- 8 ounces (225g) tomatoes, roughly chopped, about 1½ cups (375ml)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped white onion
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- About 3½ cups (875ml) chicken broth
- 1 small carrot, trimmed, scraped, and thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons peas (optional)
- 1 large sprig parsley (optional)
- 2 serrano chiles, left whole (optional)
- Salt to taste
For this quantity you will need a flameproof pan about 4 inches (10cm) deep and 9 inches (23cm) across. Pour hot water to cover over the rice and let soak for about 5 minutes. Strain, rinse in cold water, and strain again. Be sure to shake the strainer well to remove any excess water. Do not do this step ahead of time or the rice will become too damp.
Heat the oil in the pan and stir in the rice-it should sizzle as it touches the oil. Stir until the grains are evenly coated and continue frying over medium heat until they sound brittle and are just starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Tip the pan to one side and drain off the excess oil.
Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a blender jar and blend until smooth. Stir the puree into the rice and continue frying over fairly high heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking, until the mixture has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and the optional ingredients; stir the rice well, adjust the salt, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat until all the broth has been absorbed-airholes will probably form. Carefully dig to the bottom of the rice with a fork to see if any moisture remains; if so, then continue cooking over low heat for a few minutes more. Set aside, still covered, to give the rice a chance to continue steaming evenly for about 15 minutes.
When serving, gently stir the rice from the bottom with a fork because the seasonings tend to sink to the bottom.
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2003 Diana Kennedy