A bunch of you asked for the recipe for the rice, so here it is!
Mexican Rice (tweaked from a mexican.food.com recipe)
12 ounces of tomatoes, ripe and cored
1 medium white onion
3 medium jalapenos
4 minced garlic cloves
(OR instead of top 4 ingredients if you don't have them on hand or want to make this faster, 1 jar of Pace medium chunky salsa and 1/4 cup of tomato puree)
2 cups of long grain, white rice
1/3 cup of canola oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (if using the fresh ingredients at the top)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
optional, lime wedges
Have rack in oven set at medium center of oven. Preheat to 350.
Fresh ingredient directions: (skip if using canned salsa)
Mince onion and tomatoes until you have 2 cups of them combined
mince 2 jalapenos with ribs and seed removed and mince 1 jalapeno with seeds and ribs still inside
Put 2 cups of rice in fine wire mesh strainer. Run under cold water for at least 2 minutes. This extracts starch and makes the rice have that dry, fluffy consistency in Mexican rice. Don't skip this!
Heat oil in a 12-14 inch shallow/oven safe pan with a lid (will use later) until hot. Put rice in oil and pan fry until the rice is a nice light, golden color.
IF USING fresh ingredients, then add garlic and jalapenos to rice and stir for about 1 and 1/2 minutes.
Everyone: Pour in broth, salsa OR fresh ingredients, and salt if using into the rice mix.
Bring to a boil.
Stir and put lid on top. Put pan in the oven and bake the rice mix for 30-35 minutes. Stir half way through.
When done, stir in fresh cilantro and pass out lime wedges for people to squeeze in fresh lime juice.
It is even better made a day ahead of time! Yes, it is some work, but it is the real deal. Enjoy!