Mexican-Style Rice (Sopa Seca)

By Cookgirl on June 14, 2005

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Ingredients

    1. 1 cup long grain white rice
    2. 7 ounces fresh tomatoes or 7 ounces canned tomatoes, okay to include the juice
    3. 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
    4. 1 -2 garlic clove, cut up roughly
    5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    6. 2 cups vegetable stock (try to use homemade stock for really good flavor!) or 2 cups chicken stock ( try to use homemade stock for really good flavor!)
    7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
    8. 1 fresh chili pepper, of your choice ( we like jalapeno for kick)
    9. 3/4 cup fresh green peas or 3/4 cup frozen green pea
    10. fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the rice enough to cover. Stir only once, and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a colander over the sink and rinse rice under cold water. Drain again. Set rice aside, spread out on a cookie sheet to dry slightly. (I usually do this first thing in the morning.).
  3. In the meantime, put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and half of chili pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth like salsa. Set tomato mixture aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saute pan and cook rice until a light golden brown color. Stir constantly so that rice does not burn, scraping bottom of pan with spatula because the rice grains will stick.
  5. Next add the pureed tomato mixture and keep stirring over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. If mixture starts to boil, reduce heat. *Stir in the stock, salt, and green peas. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, another 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  6. *NOTE: DO NOT stir rice too often after adding the stock or the grains will become too starchy.
  7. The original directions say to remove pan from heat, cover with tight-fitting lid; letting stand in a warm place 10 minutes or so. I remove pan from heat, cover and place pan in low oven, at approximately 150-200 degrees. Sometimes I'll let the rice set in the oven for a good hour or longer, as long as the rice grains are tender and rice doesn't dry out too much.
  8. Transfer the cooked rice to a serving platter, fluff with fork and serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced chilis or serve on side.