Fire Roasting makes it better
A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Savory Instant Pot Chive Cheesecake. While the vegan chive flavored cream cheese made the cheesecake completely fabulous, it was the fire roasted red peppers mixed into the batter that added the extra flair and flavor.
What to do with the leftovers
In anticipation of making the savory cheesecake, I had bought a 28-ounce can of the fire roasted red peppers and had quite a few leftover. I had quite a few leftovers in general after the Shavuot holiday.
My fridge was packed, and other people who live in the house weren’t too happy about the state of the refrigerator.
When cooking for the Shabbat after Shavuot, I had to get a little creative to use up the fridge contents. I spied the can with the remaining roasted red peppers and had a lightbulb moment.
I had some cool medium grain rice and figured if I add the remaining fire roasted red peppers and liquid to the rice before it cooked, it might be tasty.
Sometimes it’s just a first draft
While it sometimes seems that we “food magicians” conjure up recipes at the drop of a hat, the first time we attempt them, it’s not necessarily the case.
This time it was not the case. The rice was too sticky, a result of using the medium grain rice, and while I did add the expected ground dried cumin to the recipe, the final dish wasn’t quite as “Mexican Rice” tasting as I had hoped.
This recipe had been an attempt to clean out my fridge. If I wanted to really make it a quality dish, I had to do some research and start almost from the beginning.
And so I began again
Back to the store for more fire roasted red peppers, and back to the drawing board. I did some online research to see how other foodies made their versions of Mexican Rice. A few things became clear.
- Usually white rice was used and browned before cooking.
- A sauce was made by grinding up tomatoes. That sauce was added to the cooking liquid before cooking.
- Cumin was almost always added but cilantro and lime could be added as well.
Here is where my twistiness came in. The flavor of the fire roasted red peppers in the recipe was fantastic. I figured I could use fire roasted tomatoes also to increase that awesome fire roastedy taste.
A Fire Roasted Mexican Rice is born
By blending the fire roasted tomatoes, I was adhering to the spirit of the traditional Mexican Rice recipes.
Additionally, I increased the cooking liquid flavor by not only adding the blended tomatoes, but by using the drained liquid from the fire roasted red peppers.
This left me with about 3 cups of liquid, leaving me with only adding an additional cup of water to the cooking liquid.
Tradition is tradition for a reason
I went through the traditional process of browning the rice, then adding all the cooking liquids, fluffing the rice, adding the spices and fire roasted red peppers, letting the rice rest, adding the freshly squeezed lime juice and then the freshly chopped cilantro.
There’s a reason tradition is…traditional.
When you make something the same way for many many many years, it’s probably because it works.
I was able to make a “twisted” version of the classic by adding fire roasted ingredients, including fire roasted red peppers, because the heart of the recipe was a traditional one.
Here’s the recipe for Fire Roasted Mexican RicePrint
Bright red fire roasted tomatoes and red peppers give this traditional Mexican Rice more flavor and flair. It tastes as good as it looks!
- 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced red peppers
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons garlic oil
- 2 cups white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Additional cilantro, lime wedges and fire roasted red peppers for garnish
- Drain the fire roasted red peppers, reserving the liquid into a four cup measuring cup.
- Empty the can of fire roasted tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Add the blended tomatoes to the reserved pepper liquid. There should be approximately 3 cups of liquid. Add water (approximately 1 cup) to the measuring cup until it measures 4 cups total. Set aside.
- Heat the garlic oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the rice and sauté for approximately 5 minutes until the rice is browned.
- Add the four cups of liquid to the rice. Return to a boil. Cover, set the flame to low, and cook for 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Blend in the cumin and the drained red peppers.
- Cover the pot and allow the rice to rest for an additional 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro.
- Toss until combined. Serve garnished with additional lime wedges, cilantro and fire roasted red peppers.
Instead of the garlic oil you can use avocado oil and 2 minced garlic cloves.
If your family is not fans of cilantro, feel free to leave it out of the recipe.
Make sure to watch the rice carefully when browning it as it can easily burn.
If you’re fans of cumin, you can add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to the recipe.
Keywords: Fire Roasted, Mexican Rice, Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers, Lime, Cilantro
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