MEXICAN RICE WITH CHARRED TOMATOES, CHILES, AND ONION
America's Test Kitchen Live!, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
In this variation, the vegetables are charred in a cast-iron skillet, which gives the finished dish a deeper color and a slightly toasty, smoky flavor. A cast-iron skillet works best for toasting the vegetables; a traditional or even a nonstick skillet will be left with burnt spots that are difficult to remove, even with vigorous scrubbing.
• 2 medium ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored
• 1 medium onion, preferably white, peeled and halved
• 6 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
• 3 medium jalapeiio chiles, 2 halved with ribs and seeds removed, 1 minced with ribs and seeds
• 2 cups long-grain white rice
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and halved chiles and toast the vegetables, using tongs to turn them frequently, until softened and almost completely blackened, about 10 minutes for the tomatoes and 15 to 20 minutes for the other vegetables. When cool enough to handle, trim the root ends from the onion and halve each piece. Remove the skins from the garlic and mince. Mince the jalapenos.
2. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Process the toasted tomato and onion in a food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off any excess so that the volume equals 2 cups).
3. Follow the recipe for MEXICAN RICE from step 2, adding the toasted minced jalapenos and garlic in step 3 along with the pureed tomato mixture.