12 ounces tomatoes, very ripe and cored (or canned tomatoes if you can't get good fresh ones)
1 medium white onion
3 medium jalapeņos
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
4 minced garlic cloves (optional)
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (may omit if using canned tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.
Process tomato and onion in processor or blender until pureed and thoroughly smooth. Transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve exactly 2 cups. Discard excess.
Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeņos and discard. Mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeņo. Set aside.
Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear- about 1 1/2 minutes.Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.This step removes the starch from the rice so it will not stick. IF YOU OMIT THIS STEP YOUR RICE WILL NOT BE DRY AND FLUFFY.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed ovensafe 12 inch straight sided sautee pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over medium high heat about 2 minutes. Drop a few rice grains in and if they sizzle then it is ready. Add rice and fry stirring until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 minced jalapeņos and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Stir in broth, pureed mixture,tomato paste, and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes. (You can also simmer on the stovetop on low heat.) Stir well after 15 minutes.
Stir in cilantro, minced jalapeņo to taste, and pass lime wedges separately.