James is very picky about his rice. And this was a winner! Who knew rice could be so hard to get right? You could use brown rice instead of white, just make sure to check the liquid since you might need to add a little extra at the end and let it cook a few minutes longer.
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 “chicken” bouillon cube OR 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/3 cup canola oil or another thin neutral oil
- 2 cups long grain white rice OR brown rice
- 1-2 chili peppers such as jalapeno (optional)
- 4-5 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Juice from 2 limes, plus additional wedges for serving
- If using the “chicken” bouillon cube, first add the cube to 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan and simmer until cube is dissolved and becomes “chicken” broth. Turn off heat, set aside.
- Blend tomatoes and onion in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add to medium sauce pan. Stir in the vegetable or “chicken” broth, salt, and cumin and bring mixture to boil over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pan over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is sizzling, add the rice, stirring frequently until lightly toasted and golden, 8-10 minutes. Add the jalopenos, if using, and cook until they have softened, 2 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Pour boiling tomato mixture over the rice and stir to combine. It will pop a little so be careful. Turn heat to low and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. IF USING BROWN RICE, you may need to add a little more liquid, and it will take about 10-15 minutes longer to cook.
- Remove from heat and stir rice. Cover the pot and allow to rest for a few minutes. You can add cilantro and lime juice and fluff with a fork, or keep it on the side. Taste and add salt if needed.