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Rick Bayless's Seafood Rice Cazuela



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Seafood Rice Cazuela with Jalapeños
and Roasted Tomatoes

(Arroz a la Tumbada)

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen:
Recipes and Techiniques
of a World-Class Cuisine

by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless and
JeanMarie Brownson, 1996, Scribner

“If you live on the coast (or near a great fish market), this seafood-rice dish can
just be ‘thrown together’, as its name,
a la tumbada, tells us it should be. Like
a brothy paella,
arroz a la tumbada stirs together spicy roasted tomato-jalapeño
salsa with quick-cooked seafood and rice. (One exception to ‘quick-cooked’ is
the squid; it cooks for about 25 minutes, until it softens into tenderness.)
This typically Veracruz dish is listed on quite a few restaurant menus. My recipe
is based on one from the best Veracruz cookbook,
La cocina veracruzana. For
most of us, any seafood dish means a pretty special occasion; this one is perfect
for an informal party. All but the final step can be completed ahead…”

Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
5 3/4 cups fish or chicken broth
Salt, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
8 ounces cleaned squid
(or extra fish or shrimp)

For 2 cups
Essential Roasted Tomato-Jalapeño Salsa
1 pound (2 medium-large round or
6 to 8 plum) ripe tomatoes
2 to 3 fresh jalapeño chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro,
plus a little extra for garnish

12 medium-large (about 8 ounces) shrimp
8 ounces (about 12) tightly closed fresh
clams, well scrubbed
6 ounces boneless, skinless fish fillets
(choose a meaty fish like sea bass,
mahimahi, cod or halibut) cut into
1-inch cubes
A big sprig of epazote (or use a handful of
cilantro or parsley if lacking epazote)
1/2 cup crab meat (optional)
A lime or two, cut into wedges, for serving

1. The rice.  Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, the rice, and 2/3 of the onion in a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently
for about 4 minutes, until translucent. In another small saucepan, bring to
a boil 1 3/4 cups of the broth and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt if using salted
broth or 1 teaspoon of the salt if using unsalted broth.
Add the hot broth to the rice mixture, scrape down any stray kernels on
the side of the pan, cover tightly and cook at a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Let stand off the heat for 5 to 10
minutes, until the rice is completely tender.
2. The squid. If using squid, cut it into 1-inch pieces, scoop into a small
(1- to 2-quart) saucepan, cover with salted water, and simmer over
medium-low heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Strain, reserving the
cooking liquid (which you may use as part of the broth you need in
step 3) and squid separately.
3. Making 2 cups Essential Roasted Tomato-Jalapeño Salsa. Roast
the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip them and broil the
other side. Cool and peel, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, roast the chiles and unpeeled garlic
directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat,
turning occasionally, until soft (they’ll blacken in spots): 5 to 10
minutes for the chiles, about 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool, then
pull the stems from the chiles and peel the garlic.
In a large mortar and pestle (or food processor), pound (or whir) the
chiles, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt into a coarse-textured purée.
Add the tomatoes and their juices (a few at a time, if using a mortar)
and work into a coarse, rich-textured salsa. Rinse the remaining 1/3
of the onion in a strainer, and stir it into the tomato mixture, along
with the cilantro.
4. Finishing the dish. Peel the shrimp, leaving the final joint and the tail intact. One at a time, devein the shrimp by laying each one flat on your
work surface and making a shallow incision down the back, exposing
the (usually) dark intestinal tract and scraping it out.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-large (4- to 6-quart)
heavy pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the tomato
salsa and stir for 2 minutes, until rapidly boiling. Add the remaining 4
cups broth, bring to a boil, then taste and season with salt, usually about
1/2 teaspoon. Add the clams, fish cubes, and epazote. Simmer, covered,
over medium-high heat until the clams open, about 2 minutes. Add the
shrimp and optional crab meat; simmer, covered, about 1 minute, uncover
and stir in the cooked rice and squid. As soon as the mixture returns to the
boil, spoon into warm, large bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with
lime wedges.

Advance Preparation – the rice and salsa may be prepared several days ahead; refrigerate covered. The squid may be cooked, covered, and refrigerated a day
or so ahead. Complete step 4 just before serving.

More from Rick Bayless:
Black Bean Tortilla Casserole with
Smoky Chipotle, Avocado, and Sour
Cream Chilaquiles de Frijól Negro

Chile-Glazed Country Ribs
(Costillas Adobadas)

Pork Chops, Sweet-and-Smoky, with
Tomato-Chipotle Sauce

Pork with Smoky Tomato Sauce,
Potatoes, and Avocado

Quintessential Quesadillas
Featured Archive Recipes:
Caribbean Feast from the White Dog Cafe
Red Snapper Veracruz


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