Makes:4 to 6 servings
Refried beans and Spanish rice, a.k.a. Mexican rice, are an inseparable combination in burritos or as a side dish. A purée of fresh tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, and onion is added to toasted long-grain white rice, and as the rice cooks, it absorbs the mixture. Serve this fluffy, flavorful rice dish alongside Mexican favorites like cheesy Chiles Rellenos or Chicken Fajitas.
1 pound medium Roma tomatoes (about 4 or 5), cored and coarsely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 teaspoonskosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 cupvegetable oil
Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Set the rice aside in the strainer.
Place the tomatoes, 3/4 cup of the broth, the garlic, onion, and measured salt in a blender and blend on high until puréed. (You should have 3 1/2 cups of liquid. If you don’t have enough, add the remaining 1/4 cup of broth as needed.) Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the strained rice and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the rice is fragrant and makes a crackling sound, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and bay leaf. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck grains of rice, and bring to a boil. Cover with a tightfitting lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork, incorporating the tomato layer on top. Taste and season with salt as needed.