Have you ever noticed how the rice in most Mexican restaurants is super duper fluffy?
Well, I don't know how they do it there but I have a method that will give you the absolute fluffiest rice you've ever eaten....like EVER!
It's so much better than those gummy and sticky rices that just feel like glop in your mouth.
The boxed Rice-A-Roni version are the worse culprits in my eyes.
Not that I'm a complete Rice-A-Roni snob,
Heck, if I went on a game show and won a year supply I wouldn't turn it away
I'm just not particulalry fond of their "Spanish Rice" after having perfected my own
There are 3 main steps that contribute to the said "fluffiness" factor
Key Tip #1 is to rinse your rice in a strainer under cold water for about 2 minutes
Mix it around so that each grain of rice gets rinsed thoroughly
The reason this is so important is that it removes much of the excess starch which leads to gumminess
You can use it right away if need be, but if I know I am making the rice ahead of time I like to rinse it then let it sit out and dry
Next, prep your tomato and onion. Drain the juice out of your canned diced tomatoes. Pulse together with the onion in a food processor. It should look something like this
It should be around 2 cups of this mixture. I almost never measure it out but if for some reason it looks like alot more than the 2 cups I would discard the excess
Key Tip #2 is to toast your rice in oil. This is known as the Pilaf Method. This helps by coating each individual grain in oil which prevents clumping and stickiness which then leads to......you guessed it....fluffy!
Cook your rice in the oil until it becomes a very light golden brown. About 5-6 minutes over medium heat
^^ I know....this is an absolutely terrible shot.....but I put it on here just to show you that I at least made an attempt to show you the browning rice......even if it is terrible and lame
After the rice is browned a little, add your minced garlic and jalapeno
And yes, those are jarred jalapenos. You can scoff if you'd like but it's just what works for me. They are a little more mellow than the fresh and this recipe is one that I generally can make straight out of my pantry without special trips to the store. I always have rice, tomatoes, garlic, etc. But I hardly ever have fresh jalapenos.
What I do have is one of those giant industrial sized jars of jalapeno slices you find on the big giant stuff aisle of Wally World (at least that's what I named the aisle)
Use fresh if the idea of this disgusts you
Next stir in your broth, tomato onion mixture, and salt.
(^This picture is of the rice with the tomato onion mixture but not the broth. I didn't want you to be confused)
Bring this up to a boil and then transfer the whole pot to a 350 oven. If you don't have a dutch oven like me, you can always start the rice in a saute pan and just transfer it into a casserole dish covered tightly in foil
Baking the rice is Key #3
I actually prefer to bake all my rices. The texture is so much better and it's almost no fail for all those people out there who have difficulty making rice
Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring after 15
After I take it out I stir in chopped cilantro. I've heard some people don't like cilantro. I think it's a silly myth because in my world.....how could you not love it? Buncha hearsay nonsense!
My Mexican husband gives his stamp of approval on this dish! Pretty darn tasty
2 C. long grain white rice
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 small onion
1/3 C. oil
5 cloves of minced garlic
Jalapenos (optional) minced
2 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. salt
Rinse rice under cold water for about 2 minutes. Shake dry. Pulse drained, diced tomatoes and the onion in the food processor. It should yield about 2 cups.
Heat oil over medium heat and add the rice, cooking until lightly golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic and jalapeno
Stir in broth, tomato onion mixture, and salt. Bring to a boil. Transfter into a 350 oven.
Bake covered about 25 minutes, stirring after 15.
When you take it out, let it sit for a few minutes before stirring in chopped cilantro. Fluff and serve!