Sunday, November 4, 2007

Green Poblano Rice

Most of you guys and gals have had Mexican red rice, yes? Did you know that Mexican rice comes in other colors? I'll show you how to make an equally delicious Mexican green rice flavored with poblano peppers, cilantro and green onion tops. You'll need a blender but I'd imagine that most of you already have one...just be sure to throughly clean out the margarita mix before you try to make this. ;-)

This recipe is adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen.

Here's what we're working with:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take three small poblano peppers

and slice in half. Carefully remove the stem and seeds. Chop into rough chunks.

Place chunks into a sauce pan and add 2 cups of chicken broth. Simmer for ten minutes.

The peppers might release some spice and you might cough a bit but this is normal. Don't worry. Watch out when you're deseeding the might want to wear latex gloves because my hands are BURNING right now...quite painful.

While the peppers/chicken broth are simmering, assemble the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop a small onion.

Finely mince 5 or so cloves of garlic. Grab 15 stems of're not looking for just the leaves, you also want the stems. Cut off the green tops from 3 green onions. Stuff the cilantro and green onion tops into a blender.

When the broth/peppers are done simmering, allow to cool for a few minutes. Then pour the contents into the blender (already pre-loaded with the cilantro/green onions) and blend until smooth. Then take this mixture and strain through a medium mesh strainer. You will be left with a verdant, emerald concoction.

Go ahead and have a taste, it won't kill you. Season generously with salt...I say generously because this mixture is going to be the seasoning for the rice. If the green mixture is underseasoned, so too will the rice.

Heat up an ovenproof, small saucepan and add oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant and softened.

Add one cup of medium-grain rice. Saute until the rice looks's all right if the rice browns a bit. If you're feeling lazy, don't saute the rice but be warned that your finished rice will be kinda clumpy. Add the green mixture and bring to a boil.

Cover the saucepan and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Oven-baking rice can be tough. It took me a while to figure out exactly what combination of pan,liquid:rice ratio, oven temperature and time yielded the best finished product. Thus, I'm just telling you what I might not work for you at all but at least you have a starting point.

After 25 minutes, remove the pan. Check the rice to see if it's cooked. If not, cook for another 5 minutes. If it's done, leave covered on top of the stove for five minutes. After the five minutes are up, fork it to loosen the grains and adjust the seasoning.

Time- 45 minutes, much of it unsupervised.
Food Costs-
Rice- $0.50
Broth- $0.69
Total- $2.69 or 68 cents per serving.
Feeds 4 as a side dish.

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