Friday, July 8, 2011

Rice with Roasted Poblanos, Spinach, and Queso Fresco

My husband loves Mexican food, so he was ecstatic when I told him that this week was Mexican food week for the recipe swap. 

For the swap I recieved Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations Rice with Roasted Poblanos, Spinach, and Queso Fresco.  I served it with a modified Creamy Salsa Chicken, which both are Rick Bayless recipes.

Rice with Roasted Poblanos, Spinach, and Queso Fresco

  • 2 medium fresh poblano chiles
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1.5 cups white rice, preferably medium grain
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups loosely packed sliced stemmed spinach leaves
  • 1.5 cups coarsely crumbled Mexican queso fresco (or firm goat cheese or feta)

  • Roast the chiles over a gas flame. Once all the skin is charred, approximately 5 minutes, transfer to a bowl and cover for 10 minutes. Remove the skins, seeds, and stems, rinse, and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • Heat broth in a small saucepan.
  • In a separate 3-qt saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add raw rice; stir regularly for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds. Make sure the grains of rice do not brown.
  • Add the warm liquid and chopped roasted chiles. Stir, cover, and cook on the lowest heat setting for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add spinach, distributing it over the rice, but not stirring. Cover the pot and let is stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, test the rice. Mine was done and all of the liquid was absorbed, but if this isn't the case for you, Rick suggests sprinkling 2 tbsp water on top of the rice and returning it to low heat, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover the rice, sprinkle with cheese, and fluff everything together with a fork.

I have to admit that I struggled with this recipe a lot.  I made it all according to the directions and at the end, even after sprinkling the extra water and cooking it extra, the rice was still hard.  After about 45 minutes, it was finally soft enough to eat, but then I found that for some reason my batch cooked really weird and some was soft and some was hard.  I thought the spinach and the poblanos were an interesting addition, but I felt like the cheese didn't really go with the dish.  I couldn't really taste it (after adding more than the recommended 1.5 cups of cheese).  I think this dish would be better with a much stronger cheese like feta. 

I had fun roasting the peppers, but I don't think that this dish will make it back onto my table.


  1. Sorry to hear about your struggles with the recipe. It looks tasty though! I wanted to invite you over to my cookbook giveaway that is going on right now until July 16th. Stop on by to enter! Hope you are having a great week :)

  2. I cook with rice a lot of this recipe sounds simple and tasty, hopefully I have some success with this one, although I might add a few extra ingredients for flavour... - Cathy Pieroz at Ray White Alexandra Hills