For some reason, I’ve been in the mood for trying out new rice recipes. I can’t explain it other than saying that I have always loved eating rice. And I’m finding out that there are abundant varieties of recipes (and also of rice) that I still need to try. But that is not something to complain about! Here is one of them.
According to Rick Bayless, in his book Authentic Mexican, this recipe is from Puebla, a state southeast of Mexico City. This is the state that gave us what many argue to be Mexico’s national dish: Mole Poblano.* It is also the site of one of the most famous battles in Mexican history: The Battle of Puebla. This battle gave us the celebration known to us as Cinco de Mayo.
Below is a picture of my father, my sister and me walking down the street in Puebla a long time ago. I don’t remember Puebla, but I’m sure it was a nice place to visit. At least I seem to be in a pretty good mood!
PUEBLA: Arroz a la Poblana (White Rice Pilaf with Corn, Roasted Chiles and Fresh Cheese)
2 tablespoons safflower oil, or vegetable oil
1 cup long grain white rice
1 small white onion, diced
1 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
3 fresh poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced into small strips
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or fresh, if possible)
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (or feta if you can’t find queso fresco)
1-2 tablespooons fresh cilantro, chopped
Cilantro or parsley for garnish
Heat a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add the oil, rice and white onion and stir frequently until the rice is just starting to get brown and the onion is translucent. In a separate pot, heat the broth to a simmer and add the salt.
When the rice is ready, add the broth to the rice along with the poblano pepper strips and the corn and stir to combine. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
When the rice is done, set it aside to cool down slightly (about 10-15 minutes). With a spatula, stir the rice gently into a bowl along with the queso fresco and combine. You can garnish with some cilantro or parsley and serve from the bowl. You can also use a mold to serve the rice on a plate and garnish.
NOTES: *I made my own version in a recipe posted here: Mole – Estilo Madison. It is delicious and it does take time to make. But, for me, it is definitely time well spent!
You can also check one of my previous posts to learn how to roast peppers: BASICS: Roasting Peppers. These are the prepared peppers I used in this recipe.
And this recipe is vegetarian if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you do decide to use a vegetable broth, try to use a light colored broth unless you don’t mind a darker rice.
Here is some more information about Puebla in case you are interested in learning some more about this state:
Wikipedia (State): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puebla
Wikipedia (Capital City): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puebla,_Puebla
Mexico Tourism Board: http://www.visitmexico.com/en/puebla
Official State Website (in Spanish): http://www.puebla.gob.mx/
México Desconocido (in Spanish): http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/puebla-estados-mexico.html