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 hellnovationRemember?


(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

Cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of broth to a blender and puree. Strain into a bowl and reserve the liquid. Add enough extra broth to make 2 cups of liquid.In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots, and celery pieces, and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Stir in the rice and cook until slightly toasted, stirring constantly. Add the tomato broth mixture, stir and bring to boil. Add the salt, bay leaf, and the Serrano chile. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Scatter the peas over the top of the rice, cover, and let the rice stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
to print the recipe, click here

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

22 thoughts on “MEXICAN RICE & SUPERNOVA

    • Yes, Celia it is a Le Creuset pan we bought in Paris back in 2003. Unfortunately, it got pretty badly stained during one of the uses in the electric stove, Poltergeisted up. It is still ok to use, but doesn’t look very nice anymore inside


  1. Naming your new stove “Supernova’ … I think you’re in love. 🙂

    The Mexican rice I make uses Sazon seasoning and gets its red-orange colour from achiote. I should try tomato juice combined with chicken stock next time and save myself some extra work while adding extra flavour.


  2. The picture of your rice dish is one of perfection, great photo and delicious looking Mexican Rice! And of course, it goes without saying the stove is superb and well deserving of your nickname for it! Supernova! I know you are happy to be cooking on gas! Electric is so challenging! Enjoy!


    • A full post on the renovation is coming up soon.. stay tuned! If all goes according to plan, it should be up Sunday one minute past midnight, as my posts always go live at that time. The first minute of a new day, brings a new post 😉


    • Simple sometimes is best… I tell you, we’ve been so busy that I look at a recipe that takes more than 20 minutes to prepare and I feel I cannot gather the energy for it… but that too shall pass, and I’ll go back to indulging in more elaborate cooking on weekends.


  3. Simple is best, Sally, and when it’s homemade, it’s always better than a dinner in a sack. I’m a bid fan of Mexican rice and would be sure to love this dish. Now, about choosing a rice dish to christen your Supernova. Whatsamatter? No pasta in the house? 🙂


  4. Oh my gosh, I love Mexican rice. Though it looks pretty easy, it is actually lots of work. But, I wouldn’t mind doing it because I know it will taste so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe Sally! You are the best!


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