I had worked out a menu plan so that there wouldn't be any food left by the time we left Merida and have been working down our list and got to today's entry: Carne de Puerco con Salsa de Tomatillo (always a family favorite) but then it also needed a side dish to take advantage of the lovely green sauce so our natural reply was "Rice".... but which one?
I make so many kinds of rice, like "Arroz con Morron Rojo", "Arroz Verde", "Arroz con Azafran y Aceitunas", "Paella", "Arroz Chino", "Arroz Negro", "Arroz Amarillo", "Arroz con Achiote", Arroz de Carne", etc.... you can go on indefinetily as rice is sooo versatile, but tonight is "Arroz Blanco con Rajas de Chile Poblano y Elote Dulce"... just thinking about it (and smelling the aroma from the kitchen) is making me hungry... YUM!
In case you want to try this lovely version of my rice, here's the recipe:
2 cups Long Grain Rice
4 tbls butter
3 tbls Saflower Oil (highest in Omega 3's and lower in Omega 6's)
1 pkg Chicken parts (found in the cavity of any whole chicken)
4 cups of water
1 tsp salt
1/2 stalk of celery
3 sprigs of cilanto (the whole sprig)
2 whole corn cobbs (is this right? or 1 can of corn kernels- can be frozen corn too), cut kernels off
2 chile poblanos (roasted, cleaned, deveined and sliced)
In a sauce pan that holds the 4 cups of liquid, put the water, chicken parts, celery and some salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 30-45 min to make chicken stock. Taste and insure taste and adjust seasonings. You can add more water to make sure there are 4 cups and be sure it's hot when you use it.
In a large pan with cover, put the oil and butter until it's bubbling (but not burned), put the rice in and stir to insure it's all coated well with the fat. Keep stirring the rice until it changes color and turns a dull white.
Pour the chicken stock in (the full 4 cups), the chile strips, corn and cilantro. Taste the stock and insure salt quantity is correct. Bring to a boil and as soon as it's boiling, lower heat to simmer, cover and set timer to 15 minutes.
When the timer rings check the rice, it should have bloomed (it's fluffy, taste and make sure it's soft and good), turn the heat off and leave covered and resting for about 10-15 min. If there's still water in the pan, cover it back up and give it another 5-10 min and repeat the checking, once the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender, rest it as directed.
NOTES: Chicken Parts: I always buy whole chickens. It saves money, I don't mind cutting chicken up and I can save the innards for stock. I keep them frozen and they always come in handy for good, homemade chicken stock (which is the only one I use for soups, pasta, rice, etc.
Roasting chiles: Put the chiles right on the stove burner which is set to high and roast on top of the flame. You will see them blister and turn black, so keep turning them until they are black all over. Just roast not charcoal, ok? After they're roasted, put them in a plastic bag, close the bag and allow to rest and steam until they are cool to the touch, about an hour or so. When they've cooled, take them out of the bag and with your fingers slip the skin off (DON'T DO IT UNDER THE KITCHEN FAUCET!!!! you will loose precious oils that give lots of taste) until they are clean. Now take a small sharp knife and make a slit down the side and go around the stem part so you take the stem off and they are open and you can see the seeds and veins inside. Separate the flesh from the seeds (don't need it) and cut off (lightly) the veins you see so all you have is the bright green flesh. You can now cut these into slices or dices or whatever.... This is the same procedure for Chiles Rellenos except you would'nt separate it from the stem and would just leave a slit and clean gently.
If you're vegetarian: Omit the chicken stock and use your own vegetable stock, just as good.
So there you have it, Rice Mexican Style- ready while you prepare the rest of the dinner stuff and better than ever.... Hope you enjoy it!