Rick Bayless

Mexican Green Rice

by Anne Maxfield on October 25, 2012

This is an easy way of jazzing up rice and works well with the Accidental Locavore’s Shrimp la Vieuda. You can use any combination of things that suit your fancy. This will serve 4 as a side dish.

Mexican Green Rice

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
Region Mexican
The Accidental Locavore shares an easy recipe for a tasty side dish, Mexican green rice. This vegetarian side dish is an easy way to jazz up rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 3-4 small tomatillos, husks removed and halved
  • 1 small serrano or jalapano chile, halved and seeded
  • 1 small poblano chile, quartered and seeded
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth (if you want to make this vegetarian/vegan, use veggie broth)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice

Directions

Step 1
In the work bowl of a food processor, add all the ingredients except the rice. Process until the veggies are pretty finely chopped. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (the lowest setting your stove has) stir in the rice and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Green Rice IngredientsNotes: There are a lot of things you could add – epazote, Mexican oregano, mint, lime zest, are all possibilities. If you’re heat-averse, omit the serrano or jalapeno. Diana Kennedy sautés white onion and the poblanos before adding them. Rick Bayless mentions adding peas towards the end. They both toast the rice before cooking it (like pilaf or risotto), but I’m lazy and this is how I’ve always made it.

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Need a Quick, Impressive Dinner? Rack of Lamb With Chiles

by Anne Maxfield on September 20, 2012

Accidental Locavore Rack of LambA long time ago, the Accidental Locavore learned that the easiest and most impressive thing you can cook is a roast. It really takes no effort and with an instant-read thermometer is essentially fool-proof. More recently, I’ve been cooking rack of lamb, which is easy and unlike bigger roasts, quick. This is a Mexican version from Rick Bayless that’s grilled and I’ve adapted to serve 2. It would be quick, but you need to figure in marinating time.

Grilled Rack of Lamb With Chiles

Serves 2
Prep time 2 hours, 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
The Accidental Locavore knows that the fastest, easiest meal is a roast. Here's a recipe for grilled rack of lamb with chiles. Fast main course recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 pasilla chiles, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferrably Mexican)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 rack of lamb (about 8 bones)

Directions

Step 1
Heat a small sauté pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and toast until the skin is blacked, about 10 minutes. When the garlic is done, add the chiles and toast them, pressing with a spatula about a minute on each side. Transfer the chiles to a small heat-proof bowl, cover with water and microwave about 1 minute until the chiles are soft and re-hydrated. Peel the garlic and set aside.

Transfer the chiles to a blender or food processor, with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid, garlic, honey, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Puree, then strain.

Step 2
Rub the lamb with 1/3 of the puree. Put in a Ziploc bag and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Cover the remaining puree and refrigerate.

Step 3
Light the grill. Grill the lamb over medium-high heat, turning it until lightly charred outside and the instant-read thermometer registers 135° for medium-rare. Lower the heat if the lamb starts to burn. Should be about 10 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Step 4
While the lamb is resting, simmer the remaining puree with 1/8 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Carve the lamb into chops, top with the sauce, and garnish with red onion. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Good, but here’s how I would tweak it. Pasilla chiles aren’t terribly spicy so if you’re looking for heat, adding a chipotle in adobo to the marinade might be a good idea. Next time, I might grill a lime and add that and some cilantro to red onion as a garnish. The original recipe calls for topping the lamb with queso anejo, but I was too lazy to go to the Mexican grocery. I’m not sure if that would have been the needed kick, but since most Mexican cheeses are pretty bland, I don’t think so.

 

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