Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mexican Rice with Black Beans


Happy Decimo de Mayo!  Ok, I'm five days late in posting this recipe for Cinco de Mayo.  It's the story of my life these days, especially when it comes to this poor neglected blog.  Would someone please stop time so I can get caught up?!  Thank you.

I was pleasantly surprised when my cilantro patch survived the mild winter we had this year.  I love cilantro (much more than my kids do), so I've been trying to cook as much as I can with it before it bolts in this Spring heat wave.

I made this Mexican rice to serve with enchiladas (recipe coming soon!).  I don't think I'll need to go out for Mexican food anymore - I can make it at home - quite easily it turns out!  The most tedious part of the Enchiladas with Mexican Rice was washing all the dishes - it made quite the mess of my kitchen.    But it was worth it.  It's delicioso!

{This recipe makes a good amount, but the leftovers freeze well.}


Mexican Rice with Black Beans
adapted slightly from Best International Recipes by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

2 ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered
1 medium onion, preferably white, peeled, trimmed of root end, and quartered
3 medium jalapeno chiles
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary. Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups).

 Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños and discard; mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeño, including ribs and seeds; set aside.

Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed oven-safe 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and seeded minced jalapeños; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. 

Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.  Stir in the black beans about halfway through the baking time.
Stir in cilantro and reserved minced jalapeño with seeds to taste. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.

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