Mexican Rice

I love, love, love this Mexican Rice Recipe.  I eat this rice by itself, topped with cheese & sour cream, in burritos, with tacos, with beans, or any other way I can imagine.  I figure it’s got to be somewhat healthy, since it’s got a minimum of fat and it has lycopene.  I’m a carb junkie, so I’m not surprised that I can’t stop eating it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups rice
  • up to 1 onion
  • up to 3 tomatoes, depending on size
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, minced or pureed, divided
  • 2 cups broth – either chicken or vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Heat oil in an oven-safe 12″ saute pan over medium heat.  Once oil shimmers, add rice and toss to coat.
  3. Cook rice until it begins to turn golden, 5-10 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, puree onion and tomatoes.  You’ll want just 2 cups of puree, which is why my ingredient list is so vague.  I estimate how much puree I’ll get based on the size of the produce.  If you end up with more or less than the 2 cups needed, just adjust how much broth you use to equal 4 cups total liquid.
  5. Once rice is golden, add garlic and two of the jalapeños and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds).  If you’re sensitive to pepper spray, keep your face away from the steam here.
  6. Add puree, broth, and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Transfer pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes total.  After the first 15 minutes, you need to stir the mixture to re-incorporate the tomato mixture (it all works its way to the top while baking)
  8. Meanwhile, mix remaining jalapeños and chopped cilantro together.
  9. After 30 minutes, taste rice for consistency.  If it’s a little al dente for your taste, put it back in the oven until done.
  10. Sprinkle cilantro mixture over the top of the rice and fold to incorporate.
  11. Enjoy!

Limey Cabbage

We get cabbage quite often in the CSA, and I didn’t used to be a cabbage person.  I never understood why folks wanted cabbage instead of lettuce on their fish tacos.  I don’t like coleslaw.  I don’t like cooked cabbage – blech!  Limey Cabbage is pretty much the only way I really like to eat cabbage. Now, this is where Hubby and I differ.  He loves cabbage.  He’ll eat it raw, he’ll eat it steamed.  He told me once that he almost ate the cabbage from our CSA share on the way home from picking it up, like an apple.  The only thing that stopped him was the fact that he needed to take a photo for this blog.  One day, in a huge display of matrimonial support, I will actually prepare corned beef and cabbage for him.  Then he will die of shock and surprise.  But he will have died happy.

The thing about how much Hubby loves the cabbage is this:  unless I’ve told him that he has to fend for himself for a meal, he won’t think of making anything.  And even if I’ve told him he needs to feed himself, it’s far more likely to be cereal than anything that requires preparation.  Even the day that he was tempted to eat the cabbage on the way home, he then put it into the refrigerator and forgot about it until I pulled it out to make this recipe.

So this Limey Cabbage recipe is what I’ve found to use cabbage in a way that I’ll actually eat it.  One day, I came across this recipe on Epicurious, and I’ve developed it into the wonder you see below.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  •  cabbage – this can be red, green, Chinese, whatever you want (or happen to have on hand).
  • leaves from ½ bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Slice your cabbage into a nest of thin, squiggly bits and combine with cilantro leaves in medium bowl.
  2. Zest your lime (directly into the same bowl) and make it all cool and stripey looking.
  3. Juice your lime into the same bowl and add olive oil and salt & pepper.
  4. Toss your limey cabbage and it’s ready to serve as a component in tacos or burritos, or as a side salad.

The Verdict:

We’ve made several variations on this recipe; when we’re out of cilantro, it’s just cabbage in a lime/olive oil dressing.  When we have bell peppers that need to be used, we throw them in.  It’s a pretty forgiving base for getting some tasty veggies into your tacos.  We’ve always used it as a taco topping, but my cousin’s son loves it on its own, just as salad.  I guess that’s not surprising, since both her children ask if they can eat the lime pulp after I’ve squeezed the juice for the recipe…