Authentic Mexican Green Rice
Of the many versions of green rice in Mexico, this is my favorite. It's a full-flavored rice, made green with roasted poblano chiles. It combines their richness and spiciness with onion, garlic and the authentic taste of epazote to create a rice that goes great with any mexican dish!
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|2 cupsLong-grain rice; (not precooked or converted)|
|4 Poblano chiles; roasted, peeled and seeded|
|4 cupsChicken stock; (preferably homemade, or low-sodium canned)|
|1/3 cupVegetable or olive oil|
|1 mediumWhite onion; diced|
|2 clovesGarlic; minced|
|2 cupsFresh corn kernels; (or, frozen whole kernel corn)|
|1 sprigFresh epazote; (or 2 sprigs), chopped fine (*see note)|
|1 teaspoonSea salt|
Arroz Verde Preparation
Prepare Mexican-style long-grain white rice (remove the starches):
In a large bowl, pour water that has come to a boil over the rice. Let it sit for about 15 minutes or until cool enough to work with in your hands. Rub handfuls of rice around in the palms of your hands. The water in the bowl will become whitish as you work the rice. Strain the rice to remove the milky liquid.
Return rice to bowl and cover with cold water. Continue squeezing the rice through your hands and draining the bowl until the water remains clear.
Drain the rice, spread it out on a baking sheet, and let stand in a warm place until dry. This will take at least an hour. It is important to dry the rice or it will splatter when it begins to fry and may become sticky. (Note: this technique only works with long-grain rice.)
Prepare Arroz Verde:
In a blender, place 2 of the chiles with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, and blend until smooth. Roughly chop the remaining 2 chiles and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring regularly, until it turns a light golden-brown. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the blended chiles, corn kernels, chicken stock, epazote, and chopped chiles, stirring constantly. Season with the salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir the cream into the rice and let stand for a few minutes, covered. Serve with hot corn or flour tortillas.
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.
*Note: Epazote -- the pungent leaves of the wormseed plant, used as a seasoning in Mexican cooking. Epazote can be found in the Ethnic fresh produce section of many modern Mega-Marts or in your local Hispanic / Mexican grocer or specialty store.
Advance preparation: The rice can be made 1 or 2 days ahead--but don't add the cream; fluff the cooked rice and turn out onto a baking sheet to cool and allow excess moisture to evaporate, transfer to a storage container, then cover and refrigerate, To reheat, place rice in a shallow baking pan, sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons water, cover with foil, then bake in a 350 degree F oven until hot, 12 to 15 minutes. Uncover, stir in the cream, recover, and let stand a few minutes.
Variations: Use 6 to 8 long green (Anaheim) chiles, or for a spicier dish, combine the poblano or the anaheims with hotter chiles like jalapeno, manzano or habanero. Peas, chopped green beans, or a large grilled and chopped zucchini can be substituted for the corn. About 1 1/2 to 2 cups of coarsely shredded roast pork or chicken, mixed in toward the end of cooking, will make green rice a full meal.
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