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Green rice casserole with poblanos and cheese: Arroz verde con queso y rajas by Karen Hursh Graber © 2010

If preparing this with Mexican rice, thoroughly rinse and drain beforehand, to eliminate the excess starch. In the United States, rice is milled differently, so the rinsing is not necessary.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • 4 large, fresh poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and peeled
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro or epazote
  • ½ medium onion, chopped, plus 1 whole onion, cut into thin crescents ("lunitas")
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups Mexican crema or heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 2 ½ cups grated Chihuahua, gouda or jack cheese

Rinse and drain the rice if preparing Mexican milled rice. If not, eliminate this step

.

Roughly chop 2 of the roasted poblano chiles, the lettuce leaves, parsley, cilantro or epazote, ½ onion and 1 clove of the garlic. Place the chopped ingredients in a blender with ½ cup of the chicken broth, and puree until smooth.

In a heavy bottomed pot, sauté the rice in 2 tablespoons of the oil until it is beginning to turn a pale golden color. Add the pureed ingredients, and when the puree has been absorbed, add the remaining broth. Cover and simmer until liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for a few minutes.

While the rice is cooking, tear the remaining poblanos into strips (rajas), heat the remaining oil in a skillet, and sauté the poblano strips, onion crescents and remaining garlic until the onion is transluscent. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the two kinds of cream.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To assemble the casserole: Place 1/3 of the rice in to a buttered baking dish, followed by 1/3 of the sautéed chile-onion mixture, 1/3 of the cream mixture, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat with 2 more layers of each, ending with a layer of cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

Link to source article
Mexican Christmas menu ideas: Posadas, Noche Buena, Navidad

Published or Updated on: December 5, 2010 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2010
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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