Tejano Red Rice

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A traditional side gets a Tex-Mex spin.

Tejano Red Rice
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Kelly
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
8

Tinted with tomatoes and studded with carrots, corn, and peas, Pati Jinich's Tejano Red Rice is a flavorful and colorful side dish that can easily take center stage. Arroz rojo, or red rice, is a classic side dish in Jinich's native country of Mexico; this Tejano red rice (named for Texans of Mexican ancestry) is her delicious Tex-Mex homage to the traditional side dish. Jinich toasts the rice in oil, then simmers it in a puree of tomatoes, onion, garlic, and cumin to saturate the rice with flavor and give the dish its distinctive red hue. Serve it alongside your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex main dishes to round out your meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 1 (14.5-oz.) can tomato puree 

  • cup coarsely chopped white onion 

  • 2 garlic cloves 

  • 1 tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste  

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 

  • 2 ⅔ -3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought  

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil 

  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice 

  • ¾ cup diced carrot (optional) 

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen green peas (optional) 

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)  

Directions

  1. Puree tomatoes with onion, garlic, salt, and cumin in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Pour tomato mixture into a large liquid measuring cup; note the amount, and reserve. Pour enough broth into another liquid measuring cup to make 4 cups total liquid (tomato puree and broth). (You want to keep the tomato puree and broth separate, since you will add the puree first.)

  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add rice; cook, stirring often, until rice becomes milky white, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in tomato puree, and cook, stirring gently, until puree darkens, thickens, and has mostly been absorbed by the rice, about 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in broth and, if desired, add carrot, peas, and corn. Bring to a rolling boil; cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed but there is still some moisture in the pan, about 15 minutes. Rice should be cooked and tender. (If rice is not tender but all liquid has been absorbed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook 2 more minutes.) Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, at least 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and serve.

This recipe originally appeared in our September 2022 issue.

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