Sunday, October 28, 2007

Green Rice

So last week we've been all, "Raw food, fnaar, fnaaaaar!" But do not fret! We haven't abandoned any of our favorite recipes. Fish with green rice is one of my very favorite meals. Quite a few friends have feasted upon green rice at my house! Because it takes some time and hassle to prepare, I always make a large batch. Unlike many rice dishes, this one tolerates reheating rather well. It's almost blissful in a black-bean burrito the next day. Since I can't invite you all over for dinner tonight, I'll share the recipe with you.

1 1/2 Cups long grain white rice (other rice will work, but this seems to be the best for this recipe)
Generous 1/3 Cup virgin olive oil

1 green or yellow pepper (the sweet bell kind)
1 small *hot* green pepper (or more if you like!)
2 med/small onions
8 cloves garlic

1 bunch cilantro
2 Cups (plus possibly a bit more) good veggie broth
sea salt, to taste

Find the heavy pan that is probably at the back of your pan collection. Choose the one that is not your favorite, and preferably non-teflon. You know, the one that always looks somewhat dirty because you forgot and left it on High while you answered the phone and it was your best friend, long distance. Oh, you never did that? Well, find an ugly pan anyway because it won't be any prettier after we're done with it today.

Heat that pan up to medium-high and put in the peppers, halved onions (unpeeled), and unpeeled garlic. Char them on all sides, yes, char. Turn them occasionally. If you have gas burners, your job is made easy. Stab your pepper and hold it over the flame until the skin is evenly burned. It will probably smell a little odd, and not really look like something you want to eat right now, but don't worry, it will turn out fine. When everything is charred put a lid over it to let it steam and cool while you prepare the cilantro.

Meticulously wash your cilantro and remove any large stems. Place the cilantro in a food processor with about a half-cup of veggie broth (more if needed) and pulse until it's somewhat pasty and there are no large leaves or stems present. Leave it in your processor for now.

Out of habit, I always rinse rice, but it's not absolutely necessary here. Mix the olive oil and rice in a heavy-bottom stock pot or large saucepan on low-medium heat. Lightly sauté it until it is golden and glistening. Turn the heat off if this happens before you're done preparing the pepper mixture.

When the peppers/onions/garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a plate and remove the skins, stems, and seeds. You might want to wear a pair of disposable gloves to handle the hot pepper. The burny oils (capsicum) will stick to bare hands for much longer than you might think. Since I wear contacts and have a habit of rubbing my eyes, I always do just to be safe. If you got the peppers good and chary, removing the skin shouldn't be too difficult, but don't worry if it doesn't all come off. Just get as much of it as you can, then toss them in the food processor with the cilantro. Pulse these until they're as smooth as possible. Add a little broth if you need to keep things moving. It will still be a little lumpy when it's done, but there should not be any large chunks.

Add the cilantro mixture to the rice in the stock pot/saucepan, returning it to low-medium heat. Simmer it, stirring often, until the rice is fully cooked. Depending on the rice you use, you may need to add a bit more vegetable stock before it's done.

I suggest you serve this with some light, flaky fish with plenty of lime juice. And a margarita.


Tricia said...

Holy crap. What a good way to use up some of the onions and garlic we've been getting in our farm boxes lately... it won't put much of a dent in our pepper collection, however.

We'll try this as soon as I get to the store for some cilantro. You can keep the fish!

vrai said...

Thank you, tricia! We finished the rice off very quickly this time around.

Is it bell peppers you speak of? Or other? I may have an idea depending.

Tricia said...

I suppose this is what the "e-mail follow up comments to me" option is for. :-)

Yes, bell peppers... and gypsy peppers, a similar but differently shaped variety. We went to open farm day at the co-op on the 21st and picked quite a few... also tomatoes, 95 of which ended up in jars as spaghetti sauce after a long day's work.

Sadly, a few peppers have since fallen prey to rot; it's a bit late in the season for them. We did stuff several with rice, lentils and walnuts earlier this week, topped with some fontina cheese... mmmmm!

Anastasia said...

just found this blog and am reading your old posts-- wish you'd post more often in 2009!
anyway, there is a salsa recipe i use that calls for charred onions. the recipe said to line a heavy pan with aluminum foil before charring, thus sparing your pan somewhat-- an idea i think might work here as well, at least for the charring portion-- then for the steaming you might need to remove the foil? although, might this detract from the flavor somehow?