Tag Archives: Tomatillos

Otra Vez Arroz! Even More Rice Recipes

Otra Vez Arroz, or Rice Again? Lol! That was a running joke we used to say when we were kids. I don’t care how times my Mom would prepare rice, I loved it! Most times, I would just serve myself a big bowl of rice and squeeze some fresh lime juice on top and that was my dinner. For the recipes today I used the same method I learned to prepare Mexican rice, but infused each with some different flavors. Instead of roma tomatoes or tomato sauce, how about fresh lemon juice or freshly blended tomatillos. I figured since I always crave that little hint of acid in my rice dishes, why not prepare a rice recipe that has those bright and tangy flavors already infused. Both of these recipes pair well with chicken or seafood. For a quick version of arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), follow directions for either rice recipe. After the rice comes to a boil, add 1 pound of grilled chicken tenders into the pan. Cover and cook until most of the broth has evaporated.  If you are not into the white rice, these recipes work well with parboiled brown rice just as well. Delicious either way! Rice? yes, please.

   

Lemon Chicken Rice~ Arroz Limon

Lemon Infused Jasmine Rice with Chicken Broth
Lemon Infused Jasmine Rice with Chicken Broth

Olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1 chile serrano
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano, crushed
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon sliced thin
salt to taste

Directions

1. Add rice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Heat to medium and cook until rice becomes aromatic and toasted. Stir often so rice does not burn.

2. Add the serrano, onions and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Stir gently to combine. Lay the lemon slices on top.

3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt, cover and cook for 16 to 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving. Yields 6 servings.

I like adding a little turmeric for that signature lemon yellow coloring.
I like adding a little turmeric for that signature lemon yellow coloring.

 

 

Tomatillo  Mexican Rice

Instead of tomatoes to make a traditional Mexican red rice, I added tomatillos
Instead of tomatoes to make a traditional Mexican red rice, I added tomatillos. Love how the Jasmine rice cooks up every time.

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
1/3 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced poblano pepper
2 jalapeños, one left whole and the other, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/3 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
3 large tomatillos, peeled, washed and chopped
1/3 cup water
Low sodium chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
Juice of 1 key lime
Chopped cilantro for garnish

 

Directions

1. Add rice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Heat to medium and cook until rice becomes aromatic and toasted. Stir often so rice does not burn.

2. Add the  onions, bell pepper, poblano, whole jalapeño, minced jalapeño and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Combine the tomatillos and 1/3 cup chicken broth in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour mix into a 2 cup measuring cup. If it’s not quite 2 cups, top off with more broth until it measures 2 cups.

3.  Add dry spices, tomatillo broth, bouillon anf juice of key lime to the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt, cover and cook for 16 to 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork  then fold in 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro before serving. Yields 6 servings.

The same tomatillo rice as above, but picture taken with a different camera. The light filters in differently.
The same tomatillo rice as above, but picture taken with a different camera. The light filters in differently.

 

Hawaiian Style Rice~ Arroz  Estilo Hawaiano

Hawaiian Style Rice Prepared with Brown Rice
Hawaiian Style Rice Prepared with Brown Rice

Ingredients

4 strips bacon
1 cup brown rice
Olive oil, if needed
1/2 cup red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 serrano, whole
1 jalapeño, minced
1 red fresno pepper, minced
1/3 cup poblano, diced
1/3 cup yellow, orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon sriracha seasoning/dry rub or 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Cook the bacon in skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and reserve for later. In that same pan with bacon grease, add the rice and toast for a few minutes at medium heat. If you need, add 1tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and all of the peppers. Saute for 5 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the pineapple, cilantro and reserved bacon. Bring to a boil, taste for salt, cover and continue cooking on low for 25 minutes. Crumble reserved bacon or chop finely.

3. After 25 minutes, spread out the pineapple and crumbled bacon over the top of rice. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and fold in the fresh cilantro before serving.  Serve with Sriracha hot sauce. Yields 6 servings.

*took about 40 to 45  minutes to cook on low heat.

Hawaiian Style Rice
Hawaiian Style Rice Served with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and extra Sriracha Hot Sauce

Mini Meatballs in a Tequila Spiked Spicy Red Sauce

Mini Meatballs in a Tequila Spiked Spicy Red Sauce. What is the hardest thing about preparing homemade meatballs? Waiting for them to cook in that spicy red sauce so that I can hurry up and enjoy them! Just a few years back, I too would purchase the frozen variety at the local warehouse stores. No, seriously, the hardest thing to making meatballs is just having the patience to roll all those tiny balls. Heck, have a meatball rolling party…earn your supper, lol! Silliness….We must always keep a sense of humor when working hours in the kitchen on a daily basis. I pulled this older recipe from my files from over a year ago. I was asked to develop a few recipes that included silver tequila and this was one of my favorites! The tequila spiked spicy shrimp won over the meatballs, but it’s right up there in flavor! This is a great recipe to keep on hand for your next tailgate session or potluck dinner.

Tequila Spiked Meatballs in a Spicy Red Sauce
Mini  Meatballs in a Tequila Spiked Spicy Red Sauce. Great for gameday!

For Meatballs
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 jalapenos, minced
1/2 cup cotija cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup  crushed (taco flavored) corn tortilla chips or seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg

Beef Mini Meatballs Flavored with Taco Flavor Tortilla Chips
Beef Mini Meatballs Flavored with Taco Flavor Tortilla Chips
Taco Flavored Mini Meatballs
Taco Flavored Mini Meatballs

 

For Sauce
4 Roma tomatoes
4 tomatillos
1 small white onion, diced

*1 poblano pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 serrano pepper
4 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chile ancho powder
1/8 cup silver tequila, optional
1 1/3 cups low sodium chicken broth

Start any sauce with fresh ingredients....you cannot go wrong!
Start any sauce with fresh ingredients….you cannot go wrong!


Salt to taste

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, stir well to combine. Cover and let it set in the refrigerator while you make the sauce.

2. Rough chop the tomatoes and tomatillos and transfer to a blender. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth, set aside.

3. In a large sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat, add the onions and poblano and cook for 5 minutes, add the garlic, cumin seeds, serrano, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tequila and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato mixture from the blender and all remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and lower heat.

4. While sauce is cooking, make your meatballs. Remove the meatball mixture from the refrigerator. This recipe will make 30 small meatballs. I like to roll them out first and let them come to room temperature for a few minutes.

5. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. When it’s good and hot, add the meatballs and cook for a few minutes on each side to brown. As they cook, transfer them to the other pan with the simmering sauce. Cook on low for 20 minutes, taste for salt before serving. Garnish with more cotija cheese and cilantro, serve with a loaf of crusty bread or slider rolls. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Mini Meatballs in a Tequila Spiked Spicy Red Sauce
Mini Meatballs in a Tequila Spiked Spicy Red Sauce

Chicken & Rice and a Little Spice! Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo, a green version of the arroz con pollo I typically prepare. On most days, my recipe is more tomato and sweet pepper based, but I was having one of those days in the kitchen. You know those days, when you find yourself with ingredients at the end of the week that really need to be used up.  I had three big poblano peppers and a pack of defrosted chicken thighs I had to do something with. Everytime I prepare arroz con pollo, it takes me back to that great episode of “I Love Lucy”. She was going to meet Ricky’s mom for the first time and wanted to impress her by preparing a Cuban style arroz con pollo. There are many dishes, just like this one, in Latin America that are so similar when it comes to preparing them. They all vary slightly in the ingredients, but the basics are the same. And the warm, comforting feelings of home and Mom’s  or Abuela’s cooking are all the same as well. This is a great recipe to prepare for large family dinners and it can be prepared a couple of days in advance. Although there are only two of us, I like this recipe because it’s freezer friendly and we can enjoy it another night when I don’t have time to cook. 

 

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients 

For Tomatillo Poblano Sauce 
1 1/2 pounds poached tomatillos
1 poblano, roughly chopped
1 serrano, sliced
1 roma, quartered
2 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

 

Nicely seared and browned boneless chicken thighs are my favorite to prepare arroz con pollo
Nicely seared and browned boneless chicken thighs are my favorite to prepare arroz con pollo

 

Seasoned and browned chicken thighs going into the tomatillo poblano braising sauce for arroz con pollo
Seasoned and browned chicken thighs going into the tomatillo poblano braising sauce for arroz con pollo

 

You will also need
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
Cumin
Olive oil
1 cup white onion, diced
2 poblanos, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I like to use jasmine rice)
Cilantro for garnish
Lime slices or wedges for garnish

 

I really enjoy garnishing all my rice dishes with a little fresh lemon or lime and cilantro
I really enjoy garnishing all my rice dishes with a little fresh lemon or lime and cilantro

 

Directions

1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients for the tomatillo poblano sauce. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt and set aside.

2. Season the chicken on both sides with, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin to taste. In a large dutch oven style pot, preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Brown and sear the chicken for 4 minutes per side and remove from pot.

3. In the same pot, add the onion, poblanos and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute for another 5 minutes, adding a little more oil if needed. Pulse the tomatillo poblano sauce in blender to mix again and then pour all the sauce into pot.

4. Once it comes to a boil, add the chicken pieces back into pot making sure that most of the chicken is covered. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. The rice will stick a little to bottom of the pot, so you could gently move the rice with a silicone spatula during cooking. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Fluff rice with fork before serving. Yields 6 servings. Garnish with lime slices/wedges and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo

 

Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo
Tomatillo Poblano Arroz con Pollo