My mom’s rice was requested at all family gatherings. The key to making Mexican red rice is to toast the grains briefly first, so they won’t stick together and will puff up during cooking. That first sauté also gives the rice a slightly nutty flavor. My mom’s secret ingredient is tomato-vegetable juice, which gives it loads of flavor.
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 cups [400 g] good-quality long-grain rice
1 large shallot, or 1/4 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups [360 ml] tomato-vegetable juice
3 cups [720 ml] vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat the oil in a sauté or another high-sided pan, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the rice and toast, stirring occasionally, until light gold, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the tomato-vegetable juice, broth (or water), and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed. Keep an eye on it; if it’s absorbed before the rice is tender, add a little more stock, starting with a few tablespoons. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the parsley and cilantro. Serve immediately.