Today is Mexico’s Independence Day (our equivalent of the Fourth of July). To celebrate, I’m passing along one of my favorite Mexican rice dishes.
The ingredients behind good Mexican rice may sound almost like you’re making a pico de gallo – tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic. But instead of dipping chips into a chunky salsa, you puree the tomatoes and other ingredients and add them to the rice after you’ve sauteed it in oil. Each of these steps guarantees each rice kernel will get coated in seasoning and have that bright red color!
This recipe is based on one I discovered in The America’s Test Kitchen: Family Cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks. But I’ve made quite a few changes to make it even faster and easier to put together. The original recipe calls for you to cut up fresh tomatoes, seed jalapenos. When I’ve done that, I always seem to end up with either too much jalapeno – meaning the rice is way too spicy to eat or there’s not enough oomph with the jalapeno (but I still had to get chile juice underneath my nails after getting them prepped for the recipe – grr!). I bypass all those steps by using canned tomatoes with green chiles. The milder chiles have the perfect balance of spice.