Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cilantro Rice

This recipe is a perfect accompaniment to any Mexican meal or grilled meats. My father-in-law, who doesn't like any rice except perhaps rice pudding, had seconds. That says a lot!

I adapted it from a recipe in Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro, and I highly recommend this cookbook. If you are not of the cilantro persuasion, don't worry, the "soapy" taste some people hate can't even be detected here. If you won't even buy cilantro, try using parsley to get the green flavour and colour. Should poblanos not be available in your market, substitute one small (or half of a large) green pepper plus half of a jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed. Poblanos look like large, gnarled forest green jalapenos. They are usually not very spicy but occasionally they have some zing!

I make this in a rice cooker but the original recipe had instructions for stovetop and oven cooking. It reheats very well and tastes good cold in lunches. If you want to use long-grain white rice or jasmine, reduce the chicken broth to 2 cups.

Poblanos look like large, forest green jalapenos


Cilantro Rice

1 cup lightly packed cilantro, leaves and stems
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic 
1 poblano chile, stemmed and seeded (substitute 1 small green bell pepper plus half a jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups converted rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups chicken broth

In a food processor, blender or mini-chopper, combine the cilantro, onion, garlic, poblano and 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth. Puree until smooth and set aside.

In a rice cooker, using either the white rice or steam setting, heat the olive oil and add the rice. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the cilantro puree and stir until well mixed. Pour in the rest of the chicken broth and season with salt. I live at a fairly high altitude so I use the larger amount of chicken stock but if you are closer to sea level, use the lower amount. Set the rice cooker to cook on the white rice setting. The length of time will depend on your rice cooker. In my on-off cooker, it takes about 20 minutes and slightly longer in the canister style one.

When the rice is done, fluff it up and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Stovetop: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and saute 1-2 minutes until the rice smells toasty. Add cilantro puree and stir until combined. Add the rest of the chicken stock and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

Oven: Follow the same directions but once the chicken stock and salt are added (using an oven-safe pot or transferring the rice to a casserole), cover and bake the rice in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. I adore cilantro and can't wait to make this rice! Apparently the fact that some people detect cilantro as soapy tasting is genetic - so happy I have cilantro-loving genes!! Thanks for linking up at my blog hop :-) Pinned!

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