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by Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill.
Chef Bayless says, “Okay, everyone asks me about rice. Seems simple, but it can be tricky. Here I have simplified one of my favorite recipes:”
My standard Mexican rice starts off by blending a 15-ounce can of tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen roasted tomatoes best) with 1/2 small onion and 2 cloves of garlic. In a small saucepan, I heat up 1 3/4 cups chicken broth just until it steams. While the broth is heating, I heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil or lard in a 3-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid; when hot, I add 1 1/2 cups rice and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the rice turns milky-looking and begins to brown. Then I add the tomato mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Then I stir in the broth, cover, and cook over low for 15 to 20 minutes, until the grains are cooked through. If the rice isn't going to be served right away, I suggest scooping it out of the pot onto a baking sheet and letting it cool completely; reheat it in a steamer. I like to mix cooked carrots and peas into this rice, too.