Fluffy green-tinted rice cooked in a jalapeno and cilantro-based broth? Count me in. I found the inspiration for this one in Lourdes Castro’s book, Simply Mexican. I’d never heard of her (or the book) prior to this culinary jaunt around Mexico, but the book had good reviews on Amazon and so I went for it.
I’m glad I did. As much as I love the standard tomato-based Mexican rice, it can get a little repetitive. So I took Castro’s flavors but added some heat with some jalapenos. I also browned the rice first- this splits the individual grains and gives the dish a light and fluffy texture. Brown rice is standard around here, but I do keep white rice on hand just for Mexican rice (the brown rice doesn’t get that same fluffy texture that white will); yep, I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to Mexican food. And as I mentioned before, this was killer with the Creamy Shrimp with Cilantro Stems.
Yield: 6 servings
* 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, plus extra leaves for garnish
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 jalapenos
* 1-3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth plus 2 Tablespoons, divided
* 2 Tablespoons olive oil
* 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
* 2 cloves garlic
* 1 teaspoon salt
Combine the cilantro, half of the chopped onion, jalapenos, and 2 Tablespoons of the broth in a blender and puree until smooth.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to brown. Add the rest of the chopped onion and the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
Add the cilantro puree and stir to evenly coat the rice. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes. Fluff with a fork and top with cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired.