Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja
For the chiles rellenos:
- 6 to 8 poblano chiles about 2 pounds
- 3 to 4 cups grated melty cheese such as Oaxaca Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Muenster
For the rice:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups Mahatma® Rice jasmine white rice
- 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth homemade or store-bought
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
For the salsa roja:
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1-inch thick slice of a large white onion outer skin peeled off (about 2 ounces)
- 1 chile de árbol optional
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth homemade or store-bought
Make and assemble the chiles rellenos:
- Place the chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly over the open flame. I prefer to broil them. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, while the flesh must be cooked but not burnt. Place them immediately in a plastic bag, close it tightly, and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the chile and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Once cleaned, pat them dry.
- Stuff each of the poblano chiles with about 1/2 cup grated cheese, or as much as will fit allowing them to close. You may seal with a toothpick.
Prepare the rice:
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring softly for 2 to 3 minutes. Incorporate the onion and stir, from time to time, until the rice begins to change to a milky-white color and feels and feels heavier, as if it were grains of sand; about 3 to 4 more minutes. Pour in 4 cups of broth and salt.
- When it comes to a rolling boil, place the chiles rellenos into the pot. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the rice grains don’t seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken broth or water and let it cook for another 5 more minutes or so. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salsa roja:
- Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are completely smooth, cooked and mushy.
- Place tomatoes and garlic in a blender along with the onion, chile de árbol if using, salt, and pepper, and puree until completely smooth.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pour in the tomato sauce, cover with a lid partially and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring here and there. Add the chicken broth, stir and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, until well seasoned and lightly thickened.
- Spoon some rice on a plate and place a chile relleno on top. Cover with salsa roja.