Also known as arroz Mexicano, these tomato-slicked grains of rice taste amazing alongside beans, tacos, enchiladas and just about any spread of meat, seafood and vegetables. Esteban Castillo, author of the Chicano Eats cookbook and blog, toasts the rice in garlicky oil first to give the final dish an even richer flavor. A simple spice blend does, too.
Arroz Rojo (Red Rice)
Recipe from Esteban Castillo Adapted by Genevieve Ko
• 1 2/3 cups chicken stock, warmed
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
• 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 1 cup long-grain white rice
• 1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (or fresh or frozen corn)
In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the chicken stock, tomato paste, onion powder, coriander, cumin and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the garlic and rice, and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the stock mixture into the skillet and bring to a full boil. Stir in the mixed vegetables, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a tightfitting lid and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, to steam for another 15 minutes. Uncover and let the steam release for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Season with salt to taste. Serve alongside your favorite dishes.
Total time: 40 minutes, serves 4-6.