Arroz Verde...

I love rice.  We eat a lot of it at our house and my boys love it.  Since they were very small, they have been brown and wild rice eaters.  One challenge with rice is to not let it get boring.  Having rice the same way often can make it become bland and too familiar.  I mix different rices together to make new flavors.  I love long red rice mixed in with a short grain brown rice.  The red rice makes it nutty and yummy.  We sample all types, jasmine rice, sticky rice, forbidden rice, jade rice, and all kinds of wild rices.  I especially love heirloom rices, they have such interesting flavors.

The other way to keep things interesting is to mix up seasonings and flavors.  I love rice that has been cooked and then mixed with freshly grated ginger, garlic, and Bragg's Amino Acids (or you could use soy sauce).  I use a lot of different herbs like dill and fennel when I serve rice cold with chopped vegetables.  Let's not forget fried rice, which is so good when made at home.

I have recently started playing with Spanish rice dishes, like green and red rice.  I thought I would introduce you to a wonderful green rice recipe to try, since it is the dead of winter and we could all use something green at this point.  I can't honestly say I am upset with the groundhog this year, we desperately need more snow in the West, but green just sounds warm and it's really yummy...

backyard farmgals

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 cup brown rice
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup roughly chopped parsley, lightly packed
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, lightly packed
2 large poblano chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 garlic clove, peeled, roughly chopped
Salt to taste (if you are using homemade stock, you will need to add a bit more salt, go easy at first, you can always adjust at the end)

Place the rice in a large strainer and rinse in cold water for about 5 minutes to remove some of the starch, this helps make the rice fluffy.  Set aside to drain.  Place the parsley, cilantro, poblanos, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.  Heat oven to 350ºF.

Heat the oil in a heavy dutch oven with straight sides (I love my big Le Creuset pot for this, but any oven safe heavy bottomed pot should work.) on high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat all of the grains with oil. Spread out in an even layer. Let the rice lightly brown. When it starts to brown, stir it and spread it out in an even layer again so that more of the rice browns.

When much of the rice has lightly browned, scrape out the parsley purée from the food processor into the rice. Stir to evenly mix the purée with the rice. Let cook for a minute or two. Then add the rest of the chicken stock  and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let cook on a very low simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer the pot to the oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. (If you use only white rice, it will cook a little faster.)  Check it at 15 minutes and give it a stir.  Remove from oven when liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.  Fluff with a fork and serve.


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