Poblano rice or as my friends like to call this dish, cheesy rice(arroz gratinado), is the perfect dish to share. Besides the roasted poblanos, the secret to this extra creamy and cheesy rice casserole is the Mexican crema! It’s much more creamy than regular sour cream and it holds up to baking without curdling. One step I won’t skip is toasting the rice at the beginning of the recipe. Toasting or frying the dried rice add so much more flavor to the finished dish.
I prepare a few versions of this cheesy rice dish. One baked in the oven and one cooked completely on the stove top. In a pinch I use canned green chiles instead of roasted poblanos. Great this is that these days I can find roasted poblanos in a can where I live. That was unheard of until just recently. These first two photos are the baked version with a little extra cheese added on top.
Poblano Rice- Arroz Gratinado Poblano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup of long-grain rice
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups warm chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2-2 cups Mexican crema
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack
- 2 Poblano or 3 Anaheim peppers roasted, peeled and diced
- 1 cup Oaxaca cheese shredded
- 2 green onions optional, sliced thin
- In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice and cook the rice for a few minutes, stirring often. After about 3 to 5 minutes, add the onion and garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the chicken broth and all the dry spices, stir well to combine. Cover pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer (taste for salt). Cook rice, without disturbing it, for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, then transfer to a baking dish that has been sprayed with oil. Stir in the Poblano peppers, crema and jack cheese. Cover with Oaxaca cheese, then cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes. If you like the cheese brown, turn on broiler for 1 minute.
- If finishing on the stove top, mix in the crema, jack cheese and poblano. Stir well to combine. Cover with Oaxaca cheese evenly. Put lid back onto skillet and continue cooking on low until cheese melts. If using, garnish with 2 green onions, sliced thin.
I use Jasmine rice for my rice dishes. I just enjoy the flavor and the way it cooks up. But, any long grain rice will work.
Here is a pan of rice before going into the oven. Rajas from freshly roasted poblanos.
This is the stove top version all in one skillet, 1 cup of corn added with the poblanos and garnished with fresh green onions.