This recipe will always be special for me, because it was the first thing I cooked in our new stove. I needed to make something simple because the kitchen was still not completely functional: the central countertop was not yet there, the cabinets and pantry were still all empty. I actually made the prep work a couple of days earlier, as we were not sure when the stove would be installed. Every day that week we arrived home with fingers crossed, hoping that the big box with our Blue Star would no longer be sitting in the garage. Finally, on Friday, October 18th the box was gone, and our stove was waiting inside for us, in all its beautiful red glory! Two exact months since the beginning of our kitchen hellnovation. Remember?
(slightly adapted from Marcela Valladolid)
3 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup medium-grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 whole Serrano chile
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
Comments: The popularity of electric rice cookers is a clear statement of how tricky cooking rice can be. During the past year, I attempted to make rice pilaf once on “Poltergeist“, our old electric stove. Results were just as expected from its nickname: scary. 👿 I was obviously very anxious to see how the Blue Star would behave, and it did pass with flying colors! Perfectly cooked rice, not a single bit burned at the bottom, control of the flame was smooth and precise. As it’s been happening often in the past few days, I did a happy dance around the kitchen, much to the amusement of Oscar, who immediately jumps up and joins me. That little mutt is super cute, and a great dance partner…
The recipe, shown recently at Marcela’s show “Mexican Made Easy – Man Food” on FoodTV is simple but delivers a ton of flavor. In the website they suggest using tomato paste in addition to fresh tomatoes if you want a deeper, more intense red color. I didn’t. In my opinion, using tomato paste adds a harshness that can only be balanced by long cooking. Rice cooks too fast, I prefer to have the brighter, lighter flavor of the fresh tomato, even if the resulting red color will be less dramatic. And, speaking of red, our gorgeous Blue Star adds enough red to our culinary environment. In fact, we named it “Supernova”. 😉
As Marcela mentioned in her show, the Serrano pepper sitting on top of the rice is a real delicacy. Offer it to your guest of honor, or if you are having dinner with your partner,
fight hard for it, cut it in half so that you can both enjoy it.
Phil’s remark at the end of the meal: “This was the best Mexican rice I’ve ever had!“.
I could say thank you, but I think all credit should go to Marcela instead… 😉
Before I leave you, here is a link to Blue Star site, where you can dream about and customize your own Supernova stove….
ONE YEAR AGO: Jumping on the Biscoff Bandwagon
TWO YEARS AGO: A Soup with Memories of Los Angeles
THREE YEARS AGO: Sabu’s Spicy Coconut Chicken
FOUR YEARS AGO: Poolish Baguettes