Where is the world is Quintana Roo? And I’m not talking about the bicycle. But if you’ve heard of Cozumel or Cancún, you know something about Quintana Roo.
It is the most recent of the Mexican states and it has a very interesting history. Some brief recent history: In the 1840s, the native people fought against the government and set up their own nation. In 1902, the Mexican president declared them a territory and they were formally declared a state in 1974.
This recipe is from a collection of foods from the Yucatán peninsula: Foods of the Maya: A Taste of the Yucatán by Nancy and Jeffrey Gerlach. It is a simple dish, but I like the addition of greens to the rice as well as a little bit of cheese at the end. The recipe calls for chaya leaves but you can use baby spinach or even Swiss chard (though you might want to blanch these first).
Arroz estilo Quintana Roo
1 cup long-grain rice
½ onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken broth, or a light vegetable broth
1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
½ – 1 cup grated queso asadero or Monterey Jack cheese
Over medium heat, melt the butter and add the rice and the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is slightly brown and opaque.
In a separate pan, bring the broth to a boil and add it to the rice. Bring back to a boil. Add the spinach and reduce to heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is done.
Stir the rice to fluff it up and lightly mix in the spinach. Place it on a platter and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and it is ready to serve.
Links about Quintana Roo: