Happy President’s Day, everyone! I hope you are enjoying a day to rest, or catch up on errands or chores, or that you’re getting paid overtime if you have to work. I ran through my (ever-growing) list of recipes I want to blog, and wasn’t sure what would be appropriate for a President’s Day post. Is there any food that particularly signifies this national holiday? Probably not. So, on a whim, I just picked this delicious dish to share.
Mexican Green Rice is a traditional Mexican dish you’ll find on many restaurant menus and in pretty much any cookbook dedicated to Mexican food. It’s just too iconic and ubiquitous to omit. Everyone knows how much Mexico loves its rice, so it’s natural that they would want to flavor it up in different ways.
What makes it green? I’m glad you asked! Green chiles, cilantro, and spinach. So, as an added bonus, you’re sneaking a healthy vegetable into you and your family’s tummies when you make this. And no, your children (or spouse, if need be) will not know there is spinach in there if you keep mum about it. The flavors really marry together and no one ingredient sticks out in any glaring way.
I should point out that Mexican green rice is different from the green rice you’ll find at Tex-Mex restaurants. I’m sure Texas green rice was inspired by its Mexican counterpart, but Tex-Mex green rice does not usually contain spinach. This Mexican rice dish easily finds a comfortable and delicious home alongside any Mexican entrée of your choosing. And this particular recipe makes a ton of rice, so feel free to cut it by half. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from ModMex by Scott Linquist
2-3 poblano chiles
3 tbs canola oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups long-grain white rice
4 cups warm water
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
Roast the poblanos either under your broiler or over the flame on your gas stovetop until blackened and charred on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam for 15 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and scrape off the blackened skins. Stem and seed the chiles. Place the flesh in a blender.
Heat a medium to large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Now add the rice and stir to toast and coat it with the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook at least 20 minutes, maybe up to 10 minutes longer. The rice is done when no liquid remains and it is soft but not mushy to the bite.
While the rice is cooking, add the spinach and cilantro to the blender. Puree until smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary.
Combine the puree with the cooked rice and stir to mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat in the stockpot over medium heat, if necessary. Serve hot.