Rice

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja

chile relleno rice
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4.13 from 16 votes

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 6 “Tradition and Innovation”
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile, Mahatma Rice, Oaxaca cheese, Poblano, Tomato
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

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
  • 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

Instructions

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.

To serve:

  • Spoon some rice on a plate and place a chile relleno on top. Cover with salsa roja.

Notes

Arroz con Chile Relleno y Salsa Roja

We could all use a little Horchata…

No matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t stay dry.

A single step out of the plane and it all seemed part of a magical realism novel from Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez. In that hot, humid and tropical pueblo, every move was slowed down in a permanent mist, which made my clothes feel damp. Under the open sunny sky, that mist was shiny and full of light as it transformed the colors from the exotic overgrown plants, colorful houses and small streets. There were cute little insects, bees and hummingbirds moving all around. Wide chubby trees offered some shade, as people walked by with no hurry, wearing earth colored hats.

And everything, absolutely everything, was infused with the lusciously sweet aroma of vanilla.

No. I don’t do drugs.

This is a true description of a small town in the region of Totonacapan in the state of Veracruz, where vanilla originated and is still heavily grown. Also where my husband and I were invited to a wedding, more than a decade ago. And it was in that small pueblo, where I tasted the best horchata I have ever tried.

Granted, memory has its ways of doing its own little thing. And granted, I was much younger and a complete newlywed, so probably more melodramatic. But I would bet this sweet, comforting, silky and refreshing horchata my hand is holding, that if I were there today my description would be just the same.

One could say I got lucky recently at a cooking demonstration and dinner for the Smithsonian. In small part by meticulous planning and in large part by chance, everyone there must have felt transported to Veracruz. Here’s why:

Son de Madera had just performed Son Jarocho music. The entire Mexican Cultural Institute was infused with the aroma of the vanilla beans and extract we had been cooking with all day, which was shipped from a company in that region to create the vanilla inspired menu. An unforeseen thunderstorm had left behind a wet ambiance. And to top it all off, in that hot summer evening, a couple air conditioning units decided to contribute to the programs’ authenticity and take a brake.

Horchata 1(Members from Son de Madera, getting ready for an outstanding performance)

As the 100 audience members listened to my description of the steamy pueblo, I kept wiping my forehead dry. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud in amazement: Indeed! It was tropical, hot and humid. All we were missing were the cute little insects, bees and hummingbirds.

It was a good thing that aside from wine and peanut Toritos, an original aperitif, we had big glass barrels filled with this cold homemade horchata. People could drink as much of it as their hearts pleased.

As it gets hotter as the summer advances, and we are not even near August, I am sharing the recipe with you too… It is very easy to make.

There are many versions of horchatas in Mexico. Some have a base of white rice while others use cantaloupe seeds. I prefer the former. But rice horchatas can be made in many ways. Some add condensed and/or evaporated milk. I add milk, which is more traditional, as well as vanilla extract and true cinnamon. And rather than grinding the rice first, I like to soak it for a couple hours before it is pureed and strained. It seems easier, and somehow, has more flavor.

(Rice and cinnamon soaking in warm water, getting ready for an outstanding performance too!)

But the special spin of this horchata, which is not that common and makes it go from delicious to you can’t have anymore because I am finishing it all up, is coconut water. It makes it thirst quenching and energizing, as it brings you a couple steps closer to those tropical pueblos. Plus, it adds a soft layer of thickness without making it heavy.

There is always a shortcut to most things in the kitchen… If you don’t want to make horchata from scratch, you can find horchata concentrate in many stores or online. Just add coconut water as you mix the concentrate with water and/or milk. But if you have a bit of extra time to spare, try making it from scratch. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Horchata main
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5 from 3 votes

Horchata with Coconut Water, Cinnamon and Vanilla

This is a true description of a small town in the region of Totonacapan in the state of Veracruz, where vanilla originated and is still heavily grown. Also where my husband and I were invited to a wedding, more than a decade ago. And it was in that small pueblo, where I tasted the best horchata I have ever tried. Granted, memory has its ways of doing its own little thing. And granted, I was much younger and a complete newlywed, so probably more melodramatic. But I would bet this sweet, comforting, silky and refreshing horchata my hand is holding, that if I were there today my description would be just the same.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cinnamon, cocktail, coconut water, mexican vanilla, milk, Recipe, rice
Servings: 6 glasses
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long or extra long white rice
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (Ceylon or true cinnamon, if you can)
  • 2 cups coconut water can be fresh or canned
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • Ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top optional

Instructions

  • Place the rice in a bowl, cover with hot water. Roughly crumble cinnamon piece into the rice mix and let it all sit and rest anywhere from 2 to 8 hours outside of the refrigerator.
  • Place half of the rice mixture in the blender with the coconut water and vanilla and blend until smooth, strain into a pitcher or container. Place the other half of the rice mixture in the blender with the milk and the sugar, pure until smooth and strain into the same pitcher or container.
  • Stir well and serve over ice cubes, or place in the refrigerator until it is cold. Serve with more ice cubes to your liking and sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top if you wish to do so.

Notes

Horchata