A quick vegetable stock made with herb and vegetable trimmings packs flavor into the rice. The tough, green parts of leeks and the stems of parsley and cilantro impart great flavor. If time is tight, use water instead of stock, and add another 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to the rice.
6 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek tops
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley stems
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 black peppercorns
1 fresh oregano sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 poblano chiles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 large)
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
How to Make It
To prepare stock, combine first 10 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander into a bowl, and discard solids. Set aside 3 cups stock; reserve any remaining stock for another use.
To prepare rice, place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning after 4 minutes. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard the skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile; discard seeds and stems. Set chiles aside.
Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups leek and rice; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 3/4 cups stock, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Fluff rice with a fork.
Combine 1/4 cup stock, roasted poblano chiles, parsley leaves, and cilantro leaves in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Gently fold chile mixture into the rice. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.
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