Mexican Rice Casserole
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped seeded jalapenos (about 2 extra-large jalapenos)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or 2 1/2 cups chicken Stock
- 2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped ripe Roma tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth
- 2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
- 2 pinches saffron, optional
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque and nutty in aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, Southwest Essence, and saffron, if using. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the green onions and cilantro, if desired. Serve hot.
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