Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tonight I’m cooking up a Mexican themed dinner with my favorite easy “go to” meal of carnitas and refried beans. I prepped all the ingredients for the carnitas the night before and placed them in a pot in the fridge.
Then I let the slow cooker cook the pinto beans overnight so they would be ready when I woke up the next morning leaving very little work to finish the beans. I place my creamy refried beans in a casserole then topped it with cheese and put it in the fridge along with the carnitas.
All I had to do when I got home was place the pot of carnitas on the stove, bring it to a boil, lower the heat and let it cook itself until it was tender. Then heat up the oven to 300 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes to reheat the beans and let the cheese melt.
My husband suggested that I cook up a batch of cilantro rice to go along with our dinner. It was easy enough considering I had the rest of my dinner ready. It seemed like a perfect match.
Cilantro rice is the perfect combination of a handful of ingredients that amazingly packs a lot of flavor in a simple rice dish. The addition of the fresh cilantro makes this rice dish come alive.
I use Italian stewed tomatoes because that is what I have, but any type of stewed tomatoes will work. I also stated that you could use 1 – 3 serano chiles. Mild (1), Med (2) HOT (3).
Tip: let the rice sit for the 10 – 15 minutes off the heat and all the rice will come out of the pot clean. If you skip this step the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot.
2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained
1 med. onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1-3 large serano chile, minced
14 oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes, crushed
14 oz. can chicken broth or water
2 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch black pepper
½ bunch cilantro, rough chopped
Crush tomatoes by squeezing the large tomato pieces with your hand.
Sauté onions, garlic and serano chile in a pot over med low heat with about 1 – 2 Tbsp. canola oil until the onions are soft.
Add rice and mix around with the onions. Pour the tomatoes and chicken broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to as low as it can go; cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Fluff; add cilantro, season with more salt if needed and mix.
at 8:14 PM