I have long been a fan of Mexican food, dating back to my days of begging for tacos whenever my mom asked what I wanted for dinner. Nowadays when I go out for Mexican, I don’t default to tacos, but instead look for something new and different to try. Some of my favorites are different variations on fajitas, burritos and enchiladas; nearly all of those dishes are served with a side of Mexican rice, and it’s one of the best parts of the meal for me. I tried a Mexican rice recipe a eons ago, but it was sadly devoid of much flavor or “kick”, and I’ve been wanting to nail down a better recipe for a long time now, and it’s finally happened!
The key to Mexican rice, which I did in both recipes, is “frying” the uncooked rice in hot oil before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. This gives the rice more flavor and keeps it from clumping up when cooked. The rice has a wonderful combination of tomato, smoky cumin, spicy jalapeño and tangy lime. It will make the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican or Tex-Mex dinner that you have planned.
I’m now inspired to start making tacos once a week!
An easy recipe for Mexican rice – a perfect side dish for any Tex-Mex meal you’re planning!
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
- ⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- Place the tomatoes and the onion in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Measure out 2 cups of the mixture and set aside (reserve any extra for another use or discard).
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the jalapeño peppers, cooking until they are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the tomato paste and stir to coat the rice, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato mixture, chicken stock, salt and cumin. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice has finished cooking, about 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and stir. Re-cover the pot and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the lime juice and cilantro and serve.