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
adapted from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
- 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.
- 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.